I go out running at about the same time all year round, 6 a.m. This morning there were so many people out at that time it was like mid-day. It’s going to be warm, and people want to avoid the heat. It’s a summer weekend, and lake fishermen want to avoid the crowds plowing around in speed boats. So near solstice, there’s plenty light by that time of day. Not much like mid-winter, when it’s just me and a few skittish runners and rabbits.
One woman was sitting out by the lake shore, watching her boyfriend fish. Man, I’ve been married, I’ve been in relationships, and I’ve been through crush-jags where I got silly about one unavailable guy after another, but I don’t think I’ve ever cared about a man enough to sit around watching him fish.
An eastern kingbird was chasing a flock of crows away from her nest. She sounded absolutely human, hurling invective as she went after them, one by one, telling each one what she thought of crows and their mothers and grandmothers. The crows, each one about ten times her size, were defensive. Since they stay all winter, they consider the city parks their turf. If they cop an egg or two from the summer people, it’s just rent, right?
The person I call Bush Man still seems to be around. He’s this homeless person who dragged a picnic table into the woods, right off to the side of a busy city park, and has taken up homesteading there. There’s evidence he lights fires, too.
A couple days ago, he’d dragged his picnic table right into the middle of the narrow path through the woods, so that I had to climb through it to get by him. He was asleep, buried in a sleeping bag under the table. I gave him a little kick on the way through, and said, “You can’t just stay here, dude. Somebody’s gonna call the cops on your ass.” I was trying to sound a little friendly, in case he saw me and thought it was me who was going to call the cops. Which, of course, I was, though I planned to wait and see if he’d be gone next time.
Today was next time, and it was a little weird. Where his table had been, someone had cut down all the brush–immature trees and a whole mess of shrubbery. Whether it was the City or Bush Man, I do not know. His campsite was abandoned, though he’d left trash all over the place. I hauled some of it to the trash, including a prescription sheet for clonazipam. (Nasty stuff. The school/medical people once tried Kid A on it, and it made every single problem with anger, depression, anxiety and generally nuttiness WORSE.)
But when I went a little further into the woods, there was another campsite. He’d moved the picnic table further in, and his stuff was there–more trash, clothes, bag, cell phone, MP3 player, two spiral notebooks. (For whatever reason, every homeless person seems to carry around writing paper in some form. Bush Man didn’t have anything written in his. And yes, I looked. Bad me.)
No one was there, though, so I’m not sure what’s up. Maybe he’s moved on and just needs to come back and collect his stuff, or maybe he’s still there and just got up earlier this morning. Could be he went to Rhythm and Booms (the local fireworks extravaganza) last night, and just stayed there. I’m going to get out a little earlier tomorrow and see what’s up. If he’s still there, I will call the cops. Mostly because of the fires.