I had just finished witnessing one of my best friend’s wedding. As I stood beside the now dimly lit bus stop, two things went through my head and one of those things was the realization that the man sitting on the bus stop bench was homeless (and from the looks of it, drunk…you don’t want to know the second thing….trust me). As I halted a few feet away, the man proceeded to stare at me and say: “Hey, come sit here”, while patting the bench right next to him. My options as I saw it where:
- Run away from the crazy drunk homeless guy.
- Yell “Help, Help” and run away from the crazy drunk homeless guy.
- Sit next to the crazy drunk homeless guy.
For whatever reason options 1 and 2 somehow escaped my approval and instead I sat next to the crazy drunk homeless guy. He proceeded to tell me that he was known as Big Country around this part of town and that he was a Christian…Followed by the fact that he was a bad ass mother%^&@# a dichotomy that I found slightly amusing.
As I sat there for what seemed like hours, he began to tell me stories about his girl who was in jail and was getting out tomorrow (by now she’s probably out) and how he missed her. He proceeded to tell me that he was a Vietnam vet and further substantiated his vet status by lifting his shirt, revealing a considerably hairy chest with a significantly huge scar. He then proceeded to show me bullet wounds and knife stabs.
As the conversation continued, I no longer cared if he was a crazy drunk homeless guy. As the conversation continued, and tears began to fall from his eyes; I just did not care. I wrapped my arm around him and tried to console his tears as he remembered the atrocities of a horrific war. We talked about the fact that I was a student, and he asked me to write a column about him. I told him I would.
The bus approached and I looked at my watch. It had been exactly 19 minutes since we started talking, but it seemed so much longer and to some degree I wanted to chat some more. As I started to go into the bus he followed me in and gave me a huge hug followed by a kiss on the cheek (awkward? Yes). Then he said, don’t forget to write that column.