Friday, January 15, 2010


We walk by him twice. First, going to lunch at the Carleton House and then coming back.
"Spare change?"
He's tall and achingly thin, with a scruffy beard and beat out clothes.
Krista says, "I'm sorry, I have nothing."
I say, barely looking, "nosorry."

Later, when I run out to pick up coffee at Sam's Macchiato, I pass him again, and he asks again.
"nosorry," I say. But a foot or two later, it bothers me. How the two words have grown into one, and how I don't even look.

"Wait." I fumble in my purse and pull out a one and two dollar coin.
"Thanks," he says. His smile is genuine and a little shy. "You know, I was schizophrenic all my life," he tells me, "and I've got new meds now. I used to think people were talking about me all the time. And now that's gone away."

He sighs happily, "Reality," he says, "is so much quieter and easier."

"I'm so glad for you." I look into his eyes and smile and speak the words one at a time.