5.06.2005

hard times... good times?
hard to tell.

yesterday as lisa and i drove across town for my surgery... lisa old me of a tent/camper in the woods
her encounter with the camper and her impression of who or what this person my be
it made me a tad uneasy... the stories in the news... the harshness of the times... the desparation and the disrespect people can have for human life... it all made me worry about my wife and her vunerability

so...
this morning before i took dean off to school i walked the dogs

my initial intention was to head across the street for my standard short loop
but recolection of lisa's tale had me curious and concerned so i directed myself across the bridge and into the woods where lisa had said she had seen this man, his tent, and his bicycle

days prior i had seen tire tracks and skid marks
as i entered the trail there were more skid marks, some trash collecting, and sure enough a bright yellow tent and a kona mountainbike
music came from the tent
there was static from poor reception or perhaps an old tired speaker
the setting was identical to what lisa had described the day prior

with the dogs leashed at my side i greeted the tent... assuming there was a person along with the stereo
to my hello a voice from the tent responded politely... "who is it?"
like a dim whitted fool i said, "it is me... not the cops... just me and my dogs."
the tone of my voice was more important than what i said... my approach wasfriendly yet firm

through the nylon or perhaps gortex tent we spoke
he assured me that he was tearing down
in a friendly exchange I told him that he had no found a very remote place to camp
i assued him that i would no call the cops, but that someone would
then i continued by letting him know that i knew he was here days before and that i would appreciate if he moved to a new location
again he agreed in a very polite manner
adding again that his illegal camping spot was a tad less than remote

we exchanged goodbyes having still never seen the other
as i moved forward i unleashed the digs and hiked forward and further
doing a quick little lollipop loop that would bring me back along the this same path on my return

upon my return i again leashed the dogs in anticipation of our next encounter

sure enough
there he was... suiting up and tearing down

as i got closer i asked... "hard times? good times? it is hard to tell.."
after he made a quick analysis of my obscure question he answered back
there was talk about high rent and hard times


again he was more than polite
he recognized the dogs and asked if the woman the day prior was my wife... i said yes
as friendly as he may seem
his fringe existence still left me uneasy

the condition of his bike did nothing for my confidence
no grips
no shifters
one lever
rear brake only
not a track bike. but perhaps an unintentional single speed
i had seen him downtown... having made notice of his old kona rid missing so many vital parts
highlighted be some old cream colored knobbies


like the bleeding heart liberal i am i thought of the parts i could send his way
surely some brakes in the front could be helpful
may save his life... may aid in a little more control a lot less skidding
but hesitated
instead i recommeded a better place to camp
as it was clear he is going to camp.... it is just a matter of where
it seemed best to guide him away from further human and dog traffic

we will see where this takes us...
hopefully he moves to a more remote space
hopefully he is harmless and a threat to no one


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