I see him huddled in the corner between two buildings, sheltered from the wind. He is asleep but not at rest; his face twitches and frowns as he dreams. His thin coat and a layer of newspapers could not possibly keep him warm. No wonder he is having bad dreams.
I wonder who he was. I see him each day, shuffling along on tired feet in worn out boots. He never smiles, never looks up, never makes eye contact. He looks as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders and it is. Of all the people I have seen in life he is the saddest and he is the one who has the most right to be.
Suddenly he stops moving and lies still. Is he dead? I wonder. I wouldn't know what to do if he was. I feel immensely sorry for him. A nameless, sad man lying in an alley, with no one but a passerby to see.
Then he smiles. He is not dead but resting, having finally reached a peaceful state of slumber. I wonder what he is dreaming about. I try to imagine a happy life for him. Maybe he is remembering his daughter's wedding, walking her down the aisle and smiling. He looks old enough to have an adult daughter. Or is that just shadow on his face? In this light and under so much dirt and an overgrown beard he could be anyone, of any age. Does anyone miss him? Does that happily married daughter wonder where he is? I don't know. I hope there is someone out there waiting for him but I will probably never be brave enough to ask.