I first saw him while I weaved my car through the thick morning traffic. He was at the crowded bus stop but he was the only one who caught my eye. When I drove the same route 40 minutes later, he was still there. He was wearing a bright yellow Wolverine costume with a blue bow tie and a heavy winter fur hat much too warm for the 21°C (70°F) fall day. Obviously he was not waiting to catch a bus.
They call him “Captain Garbage” but his real name is Verne. He’s been homeless for 4 years but today he is really exceptionally happy! He gets to go look at a place to rent.
He is on government disability and the government wants him to get off the streets. A logging accident left him unable to work and now he suffers from arthritis of the spine.
His only possessions are a guitar, a bike, and the few things he salvaged from the garbage dump. He pushes them around in a ‘borrowed’ shopping cart.
By the time I circled back to talk to him, he had moved to the parking lot of the local grocery store. The fur hat was now missing. Perhaps it was somewhere in the accumulation of goods or maybe he had taken it off and left it at the bus stop. He wasn’t sure.
Soon, the parking lot security man showed up to shuffle Verne on his way. Off he goes to start a new chapter in his life. One that he can add to his already interesting story.