Santa can I go home with you?

I was waiting for a bus and one of my favorite wino's came up to me. He said, "You look like Santa Claus." and he ran his fingers through my hair. I gave him a cigarette and the bus came.

Coming back home I got of the bus at my favorite girl watching corner. It is in the Wayne State University campus and many good looking college girls go by while I wait for the next bus.

Behold I hear my favorite wino, "Santa how are you?"

I look at my watch and I have about 10 minutes before the bus comes. I am thinking, "Ten minutes with this guy talking to me. The girls going by to see Santa and the wino shooting the bull on the corner."

He said, "I knew you five years ago. You didn't have the beard then. You lived in the Hotel Park Avenue."

I was surprised that he remembered me. I have seen him a lot over the past two years. He saw me as I was growing the beard and mustache so he has seen me without them. This man is mentally ill. Because of the laws since he is not a threat to himself or society he is in the street, unable to work and homeless instead of a group home or an institution where he belongs.

One time when I see him we say hi to each other and the next time he may shoot me the finger. This time he is in a talkative mood. He actually almost makes sense.

Just before the bus comes he asked where I live. I told him that I was down the street from where I was before. He said, "Can I come home with you?"

I said, "I'm sorry but I am in a small studio apartment. There is not enough room for two men. Otherwise I would let you come."

Finally the bus comes. I say good bye and get on the bus.

He got on and said to the driver, "I'm a retired DOT employee and but I forgot my ID."

The driver said, "Sorry, you have to get off."

After he got off I thanked the driver and he smiled knowing the wino wanted to adopt me.

Some day I hope I will be able to help him and the other lost and forgotten souls. When my book comes out the proceeds will help my friend and the others like him.

© Copyright 2002 Lee W. Gaylord

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