Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Mission, should I choose to accept it...

It's been a while since I've posted to this blog, but I have a good excuse! I have a two-month-old who LOVES his mommy and can't seem to be around me enough. It's flattering, if exhausting, but I miss writing. Hopefully, within the next few months, we'll get onto some kind of nap schedule that allows me to do it some more. Baby steps. Literally.

I'm writing this because I want some accountability to do something that's way out of my comfort zone. First of all, I'm sad to say that I haven't seen "Grandpa" in months, and I hope hope hope that means he got into a long-term shelter or even that he was able to get off of the streets and into a permanent living situation.

The other day, I thought fondly and sadly of him when I saw another (unfamiliar) older guy walking around with his face pretty beat up: puffy (new) black eye with cuts and bruises, forehead bruise, face scratched up. I made it a point to make eye contact and say, "Hi." I wonder what caused the fight, and if it were reciprocal.

We love living near the UT campus and downtown, and homelessness and "feral people" are things we see every day. Still, we have a roof and doors and we are so far removed from it.

There is a gentleman who we've seen ever since we lived here, and he looks like a healthy and reasonably mentally sound person. I don't know where he sleeps, but he spends several hours of each day in the same place: a parking garage stairwell. It's right at the corner of Martin Luther King and Nueces, in the building that houses a dry cleaner and a Subway. It's where we climbed to the roof to watch fireworks last New Year's Eve.


But he doesn't just while away the hours staring off into space or talking to his invisible dog. No. This guy... crochets. He is always crocheting when I see him sitting there. The last time I saw him, it was a small white square using very fine yarn. I've seen him do longer pieces with bulkier stuff. I've never seen something as recognizable as, say, a sweater or anything... and here is where I'm challenging myself:

I want to ask him what he's making. I want to engage him. He is my neighbor. I see him at least twice a week, which is a lot more often than I see the people who live next door (which is about 5 times this whole year, although on Halloween the girl did offer to help me with the baby if I ever needed it... bless her).

As I was thinking about this, and in the middle of writing this blog post, yesterday, I saw him walking down our sidewalk, in front of our house. I was nursing at the time and while I don't mind nursing in the public that is our front porch, it's not the time I want to initially introduce myself to a potential friend. Besides, he seemed to be on his way somewhere. He has his backpack, and he has a crafting bag. I've seen him up Guadalupe a mile or so, too. But he's always around. And I want to know his story.

Maybe it's stupid that I have to put it out here and make it a "thing." My introvert husband just naturally connects with people. I wish that were the case with me, but it's not. So I'm asking you: In early 2015, ask me if I've talked with this gentleman. I hope I can tell you something more about him.