Day 16…Story time based on something you have seen today. I went to Rugby this morning and as I haven’t been there for sometime was surprised at the number of stores closed, plus the number of homeless. These combine and sleeping places established. In some cases these are quite elaborate and several doorways had large sleeping platforms with pillows and duvets. The residents still asleep. My story is based around this…it is non-political, just a story and also brings in a “tramp” I knew who lived outdoors from my youth.
Gentlemen of the Road
White-eye, that was his name. He roved around the village where I lived. His distinctive left eyebrow, white and snowy, stood out and the village kids named him for it. His clothes were sometimes disheveled, but he kept himself clean. He was always welcome at the door, tea, cakes, bread and cheese offered and accepted. And in the cold winters of the 60’s a place was found for him to sleep. I saw him again much later in life. He was older, wiry, weather hardened, and his right eyebrow now matched his left. The open doors had started to close a little as people withdrew and became suspicious, the older generation passing, the new not knowing the way of the road.
And now, when the homeless are plenty, the gentlemen of the roads no longer, called by other names. Their journey to the road by other routes, the doors shut but sleeping in closed doorways. Who are they, why are they there, it’s unlikely we will ever know, our minds not as open nowadays, we walk by.