Old, Drunk Man on Eden Way

August 3, 2009

On my way to see my dad for his birthday, I spotted this old man walking down 41st St and on to Eden Way. Every few paces he would stop. Pause. Continue. I didn't know if it was the beer or the old age that had slowed him to a crawl.

As he neared 42nd St, he stopped to rest the weight of his frame against the large stone wall the held the bank's parking lot above street level. He seemed to be in agony or delirium, and he's just another one of many in the same situation in the neighborhood.

I've seen enough people in similar positions to categorize them. There are the old timers and locals who are drinking Busch at the Thunderbird in the mornings because it's $1.50 for a pounder (8am to 11am). There are old timers and locals who are picking up the discarded cans strewn about the neighborhood streets because there's money in recycling aluminum.

This man I couldn't quite figure out. Maybe he was drunk. Maybe he was exhausted. Maybe the world had caught up with him and he just needed a break. He leaned against the wall for a while, then went on his way again.

It's hard to explain how slowly he walked.

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