Walkabout. Morning in the Park Edition.
The sky is cloudy dark. A nip is in the air. The park is quiet. A heavyset Hispanic man on his daily jog lumbers passed me, the sound of his music barely audible above the rustle of his windbreaker. Buenos dias. A homeless woman sorts clothes beneath a ramada mumbling to herself. A couple of old codgers chat as the engines of their model airplanes drone overhead. Across the park, a homeless man does Tai Chi next to a man playing catch with his young daughter. The smack of the ball into his glove is faint, yet achingly familiar. Psy, a Laotian veteran, pushes a noisy cart down the sidewalk. At one time I had tried, unsuccessfully, to help him find shelter. He lived for a while in an old red car that he parked next to the playground. Today he shuffles by with his noisy cart. Crazy Beverly thrashes around her shelter on the side of the mountain, screaming at the demons only she sees. A young man peddles through the park on a huge unicycle. He moves quickly and confidently. For a moment we all stop and watch this ballet as he navigates grass, asphalt, side walk and disappears onto the trail into the preserve. Silent for a moment.