Non-Bombs and Pants

Firetruck at Union StationI emerged from the Union Station Metro last night to flashing lights and milling, murmuring crowds, as security personnel called out, “the station is being evacuated.”

“There’s been a bomb threat, bomb threat,” said a homeless man at the doors, as others sighed, “a fire, a power outage, a bomb threat, now how will I catch my train…” A firetruck was parked out front, while crowds of people, hundreds thick, gathered below the pillars and arches. I snapped a couple of photos and headed home, wondering what the news would have to say. (There was nothing on the evening news, but it would later turn out to be a smoke alarm going off.)

I ran into Reggie, my local homeless guy, along the way, standing on E Street with a rag and a bucket to wash parked cars. He had only shorts, tennis shoes, and a t-shirt on, and had discarded his torn, dirty pants the day before. Sparing him a dollar, I told him it would be getting colder tonight, but I had a pair of pants that was a bit small for me, but might fit him. I brought the pants down from my apartment, and they did indeed fit perfectly. We talked a bit, about being homeless, about rats coming to eat his scraps, about how passing tourists would always give him food, but never thought to give him anything to drink, about feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, about Iraq. He thanked me for the pants, and I told him that they had been looking for someone to wear them, and here he was. I passed him another dollar for drinks, and headed home.

Then I fed the cat, watered the plants, ate dinner, talked to Amy, watched Enterprise, and slept.