(Adapted from a letter to my brothers dated 06/22/13.)
For a while, I’ve wanted to tell you about a couple interesting guys in my world, Keith and Rodney.
Rodney is an older guy. I’m pretty sure he’s the same fellow who, years ago (~2000-2003) I nicknamed “Stinky,” which needs no explanation. He often got on the bus that I was taking to work at that time. If he is the same guy, his life has drastically improved since those days. He’s clean-shaven now, well-groomed, clean, well-dressed. He stays at the Baltimore Rescue Mission. He’s at the library almost every day, hangs out for hours in the Wi-Fi café studying books about topology. He also typically carries a French-language Bible.
Keith is a big, husky guy. Works for a temp agency 10 hours a day unloading trucks of foodstuffs and liquors throughout the tri-state area (Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia). With that work schedule, he only stays at the mission on weekends. During the week he sleeps outside on the sidewalk — much too dangerous for me to do, but he can handle himself. He displays no interest in getting his own place, though I should think he could if he wanted. At the mission, for fun he reads the newspapers’ financial pages — in detail. Markets, mergers, debentures, all that stuff I don’t understand, but he likes it.
Keith never talks about religion, but he’s got an e-Bible on his phone and spends a lot of time studying that, also.