What Happens Early In The Morning
4:00 AM Wednesday, 4th of July
The rush to get to the airport is underway. We are packed, showered and almost ready to go, Nina has taking Daisy out to pee and The older Slackbrother and I are waiting for her to get back when there is a faint knock on the door…
Nina’s brother looks at me, then looks at the door and then back at me. Who could be knocking at my door at 4:00 AM? Nina wouldn’t knock and Daisy can’t so who could it be? Nina’s brother reaches for the door and opens it to find a shirtless, barefoot and disheveled man at the door. We had seen him just a few hours before, when he was shirtless, and disheveled but still wearing shoes. This was no ordinary hobo, this was a resident hobo; a man who rose from hanging out in my bushes to living inside and paying rent in the apartment across from mine. How appropriate to see him on 4th of July; after a second of hesitation this symbol of the American dream said:
“You got any beer”
Just your typical 4 AM beer run right?
I just need one more beer so I can go to bed. I tried to go to the store but it was locked”
Nina’s Brother explains “That’s because it’s 4 in the morning” and he turns to me and says “Do we have anything?”
I said no without checking because you know what they say about giving beer out before dawn, it just encourages them to come back; but I softened and went to the fridge to grab him one.
“Here you go, now get to bed”.
My neighbor studies the bottle closely, the way a man in the desert might look at a bottle of water that suddenly fell from the sky and says;
“This is perfect, now I can get some sleep.”
As we drive to the airport we wondered aloud, do you think that today was the first time he did that or does he do that everyday and this was the first time we happened to be awake? We just don’t know, but that’s the price we pay for living at the center of hobo town.