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A Blanket or a Brick

Twice a day, five days a week for the last sixteen months I would see him, sitting in the same place doing the same thing – nothing – except on occasion sleeping.

Today I see a homemade cross where he always sat.  A cross made of sticks and flowers wilted by the sun, stuck in a bed of dirt littered with cigarette butts.  A cross constructed by the homeless for the homeless.

He was an extremely obese very black man.  I wondered sometimes if he was homeless because of his weight or if the state of homelessness was a contributing factor for the extreme amount of weight on his frame.

I never stopped to inquire before. I never gave a dime or a damn.  But today, I stop.

“He was killed with a brick in a fight for a blanket”, they said.

His name was Travis.  That’s all anybody knew about him.

His name.