I left the office around noon to find a thin homeless man wearing dirty black gym shorts with an oddly immaculate Santa's coat and hat ensemble at the end of our street. He was pushing around a shopping cart brimming with stuffed animals, which he abandoned long enough to accost a cute co-ed with, "C'mon girlie, give Santa a kiss!" She tried to step past, but each time she moved, he shifted with her with the same expectant pucker twisting his features. She finally got frustrated, took a big drag from her cigarette, and blew the smoke in his face to make good her escape.
I watched this, trying to figure out why the veins on his legs looked so peculiar and pronounced.
I was outside again not to long ago and passed him again. This time, all of his animation had left. He lay on his back, hatless, staring glassy-eyed at the slit of sky above our street. He could have been dead. I didn't stop to ask.