Travelin’ Hobos

Not what I saw a few days ago

So it snowed in Nashville a few days ago. This isn’t something I’m completely used to yet, as every time it’s snowed in Nashville, I’ve either been in Smyrna, Knoxville, or England.

Smyrna doesn’t count, as that’s a hell hole from whence nothing good can come.

Knoxville counts, but I was drunk most of the time, so I couldn’t tell you much more than snow is something to be avoided when you’ve been hitting the whiskey.

England most definitely counts, since Canterbury was turned into Hoth last January, and I had a blast schlepping up the hill in sub-zero temperatures and amazing my Chinese flatmates with my ability to withstand cold.

Of course, this being Nashville, and thus, in my reckoning, the tropics, the snow didn’t last long. For the most part, it melted when it hit the pavement and provided little more than hope and a semi-visual indicator of which way the wind was blowing.

But it also had something else. As I left the office in the early afternoon to get some green tea (China Green Tips, good stuff), I looked out to the Fifth Third Bank plaza – you know, the one by the church with the huge plaque listing how many times its burned down – and saw a homeless man dressed in black running around catching snowflakes on his tongue.

The church, not the homeless man

It was one of those sights that made me glow just a bit. I thought about how great it was that being a kid stayed with a person through it all. How, deep down inside, we all want to stay young, back when we were innocent and thought that, yes, throwing water on a raging citronella candle was a good idea, just before it burned down a childhood home and we had to shift blame on neighbors to avoid getting charged with arson.

I bought the tea, headed back to the office, and told a coworker.

She nodded sagely and said, “That’s Will. Will has a severe case of schizophrenia. He’s probably off his meds.” Then she turned back to her computer and went back to work.

I stood there for a few seconds, my buzz thoroughly killed.

“Shouldn’t you get back to work?” She asked.

“Indeed,” I said, walking back to my desk.

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