June 13, 2010

Even Broke Guys got game!

My doorbell rang at 12:45 a.m. No one should be making house calls at that hour, and I haven't a child serving in Iraq or Afghanistan...I actually haven't a child anywhere, so what gives?

I was still up at that hour--of course! so immediately went to the door where I saw my homeless neighbor descending my front stairs. (I say "neighbor" because he lives around here--wherever. Plus I'm pretty sure Jesus said everyone you run into or pass by is your neighbor.)

William, I called out, Don't ring my doorbell after 10 o'clock! Then I noticed he had left a basket on my porch.

"I brought you something; I rang the bell so you would find it, and no one would steal it," he said.

When I spotted him crossing the street later the next day, I reminded him to please never ring the door past 10 p.m. But also thanked him for what was his first gift to me.

Turns out broke guys--even really broke and homeless guys--have game, too. Somewhere in his travels William had come across this white basket with one dead plant, a nice live one, some ripped up ribbon and other florist shop makings. On the envelope that once held a card for the original recipient of this lovely gift, he had scrawled:
From "W"    To: "S"     LOVE
And it's not easy for a homeless guy to find a pen handy, you know?

William has a real girlfriend, I think (and I hope). He introduced me once as I passed by the rear of a nearby building where she cleans offices on the night shift. He meets her at the back door when she empties the building's trash. I also know William gets gigs cleaning the floors and taking out garbage at bars near Wrigley Field. And I also know that, like me, the guy is really resourceful.


  1. I love that you refer to William as your neighbor, and I love both reasons you do so.

  2. Christin asked off line: "How can you expect a homeless person to know what time it is?"

    Easy. Many carry pre-paid mobile phones. You can ask someone. Street traffic and length of time passed since the sun set should surely give someone a clue whether it is 10 p.m. or 1:00 a.m.

    In my former jogging career (working on timing, I think I was), I discovered that every dry cleaner in the city has a big clock on the wall just inside and visible from the front window. Not sure what's with that.

  3. I think that's really sweet. Of course, I'd be totally freaked if someone was ringing my doorbell that late at night. But the thought behind it was sweet.