People look at death as a reminder to get their shit done before they reach 60, because no one remembers the guy who is still working at the cubical on an hourly wage, or the woman who bore no children and the singles who didn't give enough fucks to keep their relationships together. Even Mike, the guitar playing crazy homeless man from Eldorado is remembered more than any of the unmotivated and lonely people because he entertained. Mike had stories to tell if you took the time to drop your groceries for a few minutes, or tossed him the sticky few pennies you didn't want to keep from the 98 Cents you got back from the 20 dollars you spent buying a gallon of milk, 2 loaves of bread, a box of Lucky Charms, a dozen eggs, 5 bananas, a People magazine and that movie you saw once and thought was good enough to buy from the 5 dollar bin. Maybe that last 5 dollars would have been better spent on Mike's fund to buy new guitar strings, but not enough booze could make him sound any better. I often wondered, "If he was sober enough could he have been the next Bob Dylan?" I also wondered if he could play the guitar at all. It was more of a rhythmic drumming. As far as I could tell he wasn't tribal. He didn't dress it anyway. Not with that felt cowboy hat, or the long brown duster he wore. His toes poked out of his boots but there was a hint of Aligator skin still shedding its last layer. What other bum ever owned aligator skinned boots anyway? I do not know, but I did find his sleeping tree by the rail road tracks. That's where Mike died. The weather worn cardboard and the bug infested sleeping bag were not enough to keep him from the elements of Eldorado's crunching frost in the early mornings. He didn't know he died though. Nobody ever does.
(on the train to SLC) 8/8/2013 8:29 am