He walks by as we exit the house on our way to the park. He's wearing a pink t-shirt, more dusty rose than bubblegum, perhaps even tending towards lilac. His baseball cap is nearly the same colour. He has a salt and pepper beard, full but trimmed, more pepper than salt. He is walking towards the park. We nod as he passes.
It is a shockingly mild October day, a day when the colours seem to leap onto my retinas and the low sun gilds the blowing leaves like it's raining gold foil.
I see him again as we near the park. He has turned around and passes us in the opposite direction. Close up, he looks remarkably like that man, the panhandler with the crutches, who I haven't seen downtown all summer, not since I took this picture:
A few days later or maybe the next day, I discovered blood on the wall he is facing in the picture. I've been wondering, kind of worriedly, where he's gone, hoping that he had just found a place to escape the summer.
After checking on Swee'pea and seeing his puffy red eyes running down his face, I decide to turn around. Walking towards home, I see a man jogging towards us. He's wearing a pink t-shirt and baseball cap too, also with a beard. As he approaches, I see it's the same man and he stops jogging to walk. He doesn't look at me as he passes this time, and I can hear he's out of breath.
After three passes, I still think he looks like that man. But it couldn't be. Could it?