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Something I wrote: Paul

A: He’s homeless.

B: He smells.

C: He’s dirty.

D: He’s hungry.

A: He’s been there as long as I can remember.

B: At least two years.

C: Maybe five.

D: He got there seven years and two months ago.

A: He has a cot and some blankets.

B: He has a chair.

C: The old suitcase.

D: Some shelter from the rain.

A: He is on the King’s Road.

B: Outside of the Fire station.

C: Near the DKNY store.

D: A few square feet of sidewalk, it’s because of squatter’s rights.

A: The first time I took him a cup of coffee.

B: Half a sandwich.

C: A value meal from McDonalds.

D: I dropped it off when he was sleeping.

A: I did that about once a week.

B: Every couple weeks.

C: Once when he was awake.

D: And we started talking.

A: I never talked to him.

B: He was fascinating.

C: What a life.

D: What a waste.

A: I never talked to him, but I dropped off one coffee a week.

B: I noticed other people talking to him.

C: Everyone knows who he is.

D: I regularly took him peanut butter sandwiches.

A: Sometimes he was talking to other homeless people.

B: Sometimes he was talking to business men.

C: Sometimes he was talking to teenagers.

D: Sometimes he came to my church.

A: And now he’s dead.

B: He died on Boxing Day.

C: He was alive on Christmas Eve.

D: I saw them take him away.

A: They say he went peacefully.

B: At least it wasn’t another beating.

C: He died alone.

D: I saw the emergency response team moving slowly and then I saw the body bag.

A: Then he was gone.

B: Gone.

C: Social services got rid of everything.

D: Everything was gone.

A: The cot.

B: The chair.

C: The suitcase.

D: The man.

A: Then the flowers appeared.

B: And the photographs.

C: The prayers.

D: The candles.

A: Where were these people when he was alive?

B: Where were they when he needed help?

C: Why all the support now?

D: Why did he have to live on the street.

A: I didn’t learn his name until he died.

B: Paul.

C: Paulo.

D: Paul. The king of the king’s road.

A: I heard he had a daughter.

B: I heard he knew he was going to die.

C: I heard he said goodbye to his friends.

D: He said goodbye to me on Christmas eve.

A: That’s why I’m at the memorial.

B: That’s why I came.

C: Look how quickly they made him disappear.

D: We will never forget him.

A: Never forget him.

B: I will always remember him.

C: He was Paul.

D: The King of the King’s Road.

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