Be Street

“Hey, Friend.”

I’m beneath the B St. Bridge. My car is parked around the corner.

“’Sup.” He is wrapped in a bed sheet completely, in which case I know him only by his contours, and his right knee sticking up at a strange angle.

I drop off a box of warm clothes. I didn’t feel like dropping it off at Goodwill, anonymously. Besides: the Goodwill on Broadway closed.

There’s a stale plate of taquitos stuck to Styrofoam near—what I imagine—my friend’s head. No bottles, no cigarettes, just a modern day Turin Shroud in the form of bed sheet and a cast-off copy of the Bible. There are snack-food wrappers and one and a half taquitos stuck to a plastic serving tray.

“Be right back.”

I grab a second box and place it by the first one.

“Thanks,” I hear, muffled. Sun’s out; the bridge has shade. There are options, but options can be ridiculous when you disagree with the choices.

I never see his face, but I’m looking up, too, at the overpass, just without a sheet in the way of my eyes.

“Be well, Friend,” I say, talking to myself.

“Thanks,” he says, still from beneath a bed sheet..

I’ve been in the habit of clipping my keys to my right belt loop for years; they jingle as I stand up, no longer with authority. I wrench up my pants and make my way back to the car.


Not sure who said that, not sure who said ‘thanks.’





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