10 December 2009

Door, way

This morning I walked to work in the blizzard because I knew people were sleeping in it.

Yesterday, I tried to convince all of the regular campers, the die-hard-below-the-bridge-dwellers, to stay inside for the night. I told Gary and The Girl that they would only have to be apart for 10 hours, and they would be unconcious for most of them. I told Mr. Bentley he could make it a night without a drink. In insufficient Spanish, I argued with Guillermo that sleeping around a lot of other dudes wasn't so bad, and they would leave him alone. The funny thing was, they all seemed to be trying to talk each other into staying in as well--either caring more for each other than they did for themselves, or claiming that their reasons were better, that their addictions and phobias were stronger.
When I left, I hadn't pursuaded anyone.

So I walked to work this morning, with one specific detour in mind: Guillermo's doorway. I imagined finding him blue and cold and breathless, half-covered in snow. I imagined this so vividly and consistently that by the time I was on his block, in front of his hole, I just stood in the wind and the snow and stared at the mass of blue and white blankets, hardly believing he was there. Standing on the sidewalk, in the way of the relentless weather, I was so mad that he did this, that he insisted on staying here, that he was so stubborn and foolish. And then I stepped in his doorway, around the bottles and the box of doughnuts, and a shoe, and it was... warm. I turned my back to the door and looked out at the blowing snow and realized how safe a doorway could feel, especially when it was yours, and just yours. I bent down close enough to make sure Guillermo was snoring, and left him to sleep.

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