Monday, October 7, 2019

Headphones man


Have you seen him? On colder days, he pounds the pavement in a well worn dark blue trench coat, headphones hugging his ears, sunglasses perched on his nose, a cigarette pressed between his lips and - sometimes -an opaque plastic bag containing undiscernable items dangling from his hand. On warmer days, he maintains his rigorous walk with lighter clothing but retaining the accessories that have defined him, at least to me, as the neighborhood extreme walker.

Sometimes he chuckles, as though responding to a joke being fed through his headphones. At other times, he appears pensive, even grim. But he never lingers in one spot. He appears just like a resident out on a stroll.

And stroll he does - seemingly for hours on end. 

I have run errands which took me to various destinations around Richmond for three and four hours at a time and seen him multiple times, on different streets, with purposeful steps  - never ceasing to look ahead, never stopping to rest. 

I hope he does find refuge now and then to put up his feet. Especially when inclement winter weather sets in. I hope someone, somewhere, can direct him to a protective shelter - from the sun in the summer, the snow in the winter, and everything else in between. 

I bet, though, commuting on foot has given him access to some of the most amazing things about our neighborhood - things that you easily miss when you cover the same distance by car, bicycle, or bus.

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