My name’s Thom, by the way.”
I pass by Doug every day on my morning constitutional, and today I sat down with him to talk.
“How’s it going, Doug?”
(I give him some bus fare).
“I’ve got a job lined up. Gonna paint some lady’s bannisters. Should take me a day. I’m a painter by trade. Should earn me $200!”
“Good for you.”
Doug is homeless, circulates the Park and 30th Ave. with a neat suitcase and a fresh white ball-cap.
He tells me he’s awaiting the sun, that he’s looking forward to seeing his favorite dog come round the neighborhood. A beagle named ‘Toby’.
He tells me he was the eldest child and that he named all of his own beagles. ‘Penny’, then ‘Nickel’.
“I got so embarrassed taking them to the park. They’d get a squirrel-scent or a rabbit-scent, and then they’d take off.”
“They’re hounds, my friend—it’s what they do.”
“I’d have to run after them. I’d get so shameful.”
“No shame in running after something you love. You’re good, my friend.”