Monday, March 15, 2010
In the white-hot, late afternoon heat, I was stuck in traffic, on the ramp merging from the 10th street bypass onto the Fort Pitt Bridge. I was sweating through my t-shirt with the window down. I could have closed it and turned on the AC, but then I wouldn’t be able to smell all the exhaust that I enjoy so much. We all have priorities. Moving smoothly and without obstruction in the oncoming lane was an electric blue, late '80s Corvette with a T-top. A bald man with a very fat face was driving it. He was wearing a white polo shirt and talking on a cell phone. At the merge point, the homeless guy who’s there every day was there again, with the same sign, same change cup, and same clothes. There was nothing remarkable about that. What was remarkable was that his outfit was comprised of long jeans and a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, a beard creeping out and down the front of his shirt. I understood the jeans. I don’t suppose the homeless often have the resources to switch to shorts for the summer. But the hooded sweatshirt seemed excessive, especially with the hood up. Certainly he could take that off in favor of a simple t-shirt. The one I wore to the office today came in a three-pack for $10.