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RVA

God, the homeless man

I mean, why not? Lets have a shot…this is how it begins. Sitting alone at the corner seat of any given bar, you’re a target. Drunks, kids, other tipsy singles, bar bets; these are, reluctantly, my people on a Saturday night. This isn’t my scene. *Oh how do you know [The Owner?*]" Like it matters. Boarding school’s a helluva drug. I tell my story about knowing The Owner of the resturant. Tabs are settled. I leave.

On my way home I step over God. At least he introduces himself as God, and frankly who am I to refute his claims?

God, as it turns out, is living on the porch of a condemned building.

Reaching for some cash, I ask him if there’s anything he needs. A hot sandwich would be nice. Granted, it took us three times before I understood him. He doesn’t have many teeth and even if he did, he was shivering so much they’d be chattering away. I told him I’d be right back.

I went into the pub next-door and ordered a large flatbread pizza-like thing…to go please. I had a beer while I waited; I fit in with this crowd, standing there in my collared shirt and corduroy pants. I was one of 100 other people wearing an expensive British hunting jacket.

When the bartender handed me the flatbread pizza-like thing, I said: “I’m going to give this to the homeless guy next door, do you want to come with me?” Sorry, I have to work… She probably thought I was nuts.

I went back and sat with God, who later said his real name was Duffy. He ate feverishly between shivers and coughing fits. He told me about knowing Dolly Parton —You do know who Dolly Parton is right? The famous singer? I knew who Dolly Parton was. He told me about his lady who gave him the mylar blanket, the kind marathon finishers get after a race. She had to go to California, but she wanted him to have the blanket. According to his lady, the blanket would only make warmth for a few days. Then it was no good.

A limo bus pulled up, dumping a slue of well-dressed, well-lubed post-holiday-party goers outside the pub. Duffy and I sat there and kept chatting. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what he said most of the time. His speech wasn’t exactly of the Oxford dialect.

Some twenty-somethings walked by and shouted. That’s going to be a cold night! Their laughter suggested it wasn’t so much an observation as a condemnation. I shouted back: “Why don’t you give us your coats‽” No reply.

I realized I’d been there for over an hour…sitting slumped on the porch of a condemned building, cussing about life and generally acknowledging the awe-inspiring Dolly Parton with God, or Duffy. The line of sloshed party goers looked impatient. Maybe their heels were too high or their expensive British hunting jackets weren’t quite as warm as advertised.

I gave Duffy, who never asked for anything other than a hot sandwich —which I didn’t exactly deliver —the $100 bill I keep behind my license. I’ve carried it for five or six years. It’s the in case of emergency hundo I keep in my wallet. Turns out, I hadn’t needed it yet. He was nonplused. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a faux gold Pokemon talisman, proudly announcing I’ve got plenty of real gold, it ain’t money I need…but I’ll keep this…thank you.

I was freezing and had a long walk back. We said goodbyes. I got up off the dilapidated porch and made my way over the fallen pickets which once cordoned off a rather pathetic front yard. As I cut through the line of party goers I imagined their reactions. One of those bums has an expensive British hunt…wait, he’s not a bum, he’s one of us! They probably didn’t think those things at all. That’d be narcissistic.

Meet Barb

shoppingActually, I don’t know her name. But we’ll call her Barb. She, or rather the waterproof luggage carrier on her car caught my eye when I was walking my dog, Ippa, this morning. It was a shiny new contrast to the rather old, worn-in four door to which it was attached. Barb was asleep in the front seat. Later, when I was on the last stretch of my morning run, I thought about Barb, asleep in her car. I thought I should go the other way because, well, it’s kind of a bummer and I was in the zone. Then I though really? You’re sucking wind and you think that’s hard? She’s sleeping in her car! I decided I’d go see if Barb was awake.

We made eye contact and I slowed to a jog and then stopped. “I’m getting coffee and a bagel,” I announced, “can I get you something too?” She was sheepish a first, and shrugged to indicate an inaudible yes. I asked her if she’d like anything else.

“I’m a vegetarian,” she told me.

“So am I! That’ll make this easy. Give me 10 minutes, I’ll be right back.”

I returned from the local coffee shop with a bagel, side of hummus and some black coffee. “I’m actually vegan, so I don’t put anything in mine, hope that’s ok?”

“Fine by me. I never ate meat, I guess I care for animals too much,” she said. “And I raised my two girls that way too. But I dream about milk. I jokingly say, I’m a milk-aholic..” She was standing in the street in her bare feet, outside of her car-turned-home as I took off to finish the rest of my run.

 

A bike ride, through Google Glass

A bike ride, through Google Glass

  Hardware:

  • 1 Google Glass
  • 1 road bike
  • 2 bottles of water
  • 1 rusty nail
  • 1 ripped spare intertube

Software:

 

Stats are mostly worthless since I didn't stop the Strava app until the cab came, but still pretty neat use of Google Glass. My lingering question: Why did I see Guy Fieri pop up on my ride? How's idea of a bad joke was that‽