It is maybe a mile away and I’m not sure how big a walker he is. “Depends—are you a walker? Dressed warmly enough?”
“Oh yeah, I’m warm—except I need a hat that comes a little further down to cover my ears, and some gloves.” Sure enough, the hat’s a little small for his head and his gloves are the kind with holes in the fingertips—he holds them up and wiggles them for me to see. It is icy cold and breezy. His bright eyes look out at me from a brown face as he tells me he plans to go up to Table Mesa and play his boom box to earn the $8 he needs to buy a hat and gloves at Savers. He just came here from Oregon he says, and was fired from his job for giving away food. I explain that Pearl Street is the place for street performers, not Table Mesa—but he says he’ll buck the trend and see what happens since he’s on his way to Golden anyway where he has a place to stay for the night.
So I hand him a $20 and tell him good luck at Savers. With a huge smile of thanks, he shakes my hand.
Was I naïve? Crazy? Maybe. But despite the donations we faithfully make to the Boulder Homeless Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, and Community Food Share each year, this seemed more real.