Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
From my first floor apartment I can hear everything that goes on outside my window. The sidewalk directly outside my window is home to many. I often catch snippets of conversation as people walk by. Sometimes I hear more than just snippets .People speak openly because they are at home. Today as I am getting ready for work I overhear a touching reunion. "I would never wish harm on you. You are one of my best friends. Lord knows that I need friends right now. I been powerful lonely. I just wish you could forgive me the way I forgave you. I wish that we could be close again..." It went on like that for a good fifteen minutes. When I left for work I exited the building through the gate out front to the sidwalk and I hear the same voice again. " You are the one that closed the door on me. I did everything that I could to keep us together..." She said that just as the gate closed behind me and for a moment I thought that she was talking to me. I turned to see a woman, about mid thirties, sitting atop a suitcase on the edge of the sidewalk. Right outside my window. Talking to herself. It was a touching conversation but it was a monologue. I used to see a guy standing on the sidewalk a few paces from my window. In the evenings just after dark he would start his lectures. He would stand there and talk as if he were a teacher lecturing or a preacher preaching. His mannerisms and movements suggested that he had an audience. He pointed and nodded to individuals. But I couldn't see them. I never caught enough of the lecture to figure out what he was teaching or preaching. What I did hear wasn't really coherent or organized in the way that we organize sentences. But he did his two hours a night. Haven't seen him lately, guess he had to take his message to new people. Sometimes everyone can hear whats going on outside. As the sirens scream by to who knows where. A male voice screams out from the sidewalk out front. `" You know that you can't catch me. whay do you even try. I have powers stronger than you.." My upstairs neighbor politely yells out the window, " Go be crazy somewhere else or I'll call the cops." He went somewhere else to act crazy. As the day comes to an end and the library closes the sidewalks start to fill up with sleepers. Blanket or sleeping bag on the sidewalk up against a building. Faces come and go but the sidewalk is always full near the library. I've never had any reason to fear any of them. They start to blend into the background. After a while you hardly notice them. I should be paying more attention to see how it is done. I'm only a couple of bad months away from being one of them. At least I won't be lonely, even if I'm alone.