Sunday, September 16, 2007

Friday Night on Mead Street

There's a homeless man who has lived on my street for many more years than I have. He goes by the name Carwash. He rides his bicycle up and down the street and gets by doing odd jobs for my neighbors and I plus the help of the church down the street. Sometimes in the very early morning he whistles eerie but beautiful symphonies as he cycles. His song has come to feel like the soundtrack of Mead Street in my head.

On Friday night, as my friend and I were pulling out of my street to go to dinner, I saw Carwash sitting in his usual plastic chair on the sidewalk in front of my neighbor's house. To my surprise, he had a barbeque going in front of him. He was hanging out and cooking sausages! He was alone and clearly enjoying himself. My friend and I laughed heartily; this sort of scene is exactly why I love Atlanta so.

When I got home later that night I chatted with him for a minute. He commented on the beautiful night sky and the stars we rarely get to see through our thick city smog. I couldn't help but think of Oscar Wilde writing:

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

When I asked Carwash how he was doing and how his night was, he simply replied, "Blessed."

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