A human figure emerging from the darkness, I only witness because the light from my headlights caught the edge of his profile against the dark woods. He was carrying something and I thought it might be a sleeping bag. As quickly as he caught my eye, he disappeared in my rearview mirror against the blackness of the night. It all happened so fast, the thoughts in my head, of a man in the darkness, who probably slept outside in the most brutal winter I can recall. I thought about what I could do, without getting too close or invading the man’s privacy. I did not want to appear disrespectful in any way. Maybe he lived with some form of mental illness, perhaps schizophrenia or bipolar. I felt badly for his situation. I thought he is someone’s father perhaps, and a son, and maybe even a brother. No matter what people think, most likely his family has tried everything they can do to help him. If in fact , he lives with a serious illness of the mind, I can almost be certain that his family has tried everything they can to help him. It is a sad situation that our society has so many living on the fringe. It is also hard to see people endure these difficult circumstances.
He was in a business area of town on a wooded road lined with Walmart , Lowes Home Improvement , Texas Steakhouse, and so many other large franchises. He didn’t fit into the hustle and bustle of shoppers so he traveled at night, I assumed. After I left one of the stores, I glanced around for him, but he was gone into the night.
Then a few days later I saw him again, only in early morning hours within the same vicinity only closer to homes rather than businesses. The rush hour traffic just passed by this man on the edge of the road, colorless, all brown with his blankets and his clothes as I saw him turn around and stare momentarily. I noticed he blended in with the bare trees. It hit me with sadness that he blended in. I am glad I noticed him not once but twice, and I wish there was something I could do. He is someone’s son.