Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mr. Many Goats

Well, it happened again.

I heard a good story, saw the possibilities, and reached into my pocket.

It has to be said, that these characters come in all races, ages, genders, and body types. I hope I am not picking on anyone in particular. 

This time it was a Navajo guy, M. Many Goats, a great name. He was weathered in a way that only the open skies of northern New Mexico can weather a man. He was toasted a dark brown, cracked and wrinkled. His lips had a black layer of toughness over them, leathery. He had good eyes. 

And he had a good story. His parents had perished from alcoholism, as had several of his siblings, and he was going to turn that tide. His was the role of witness, voice, story-teller, and he was going to talk to the young people, to testify.

Now, this is good. I liked this guy, and wanted to help with this cause. So I gave him the twenty bucks he needed to get a bus ticket to Flagstaff.

He was even going to email me when he got there, to let me know he had made it safely.

Two days later, I saw him again, hanging around the same spot, looking as lost as he was before.

"Yeah, the buses only run every three days or so," he told me. "I will catch it tonight. But in the meantime, I have this wound from a spider bite and I need some sterile bandages."

He showed me the cardboard patch over the pink flesh, the swollen leg.

"I know a little about that kind of thing," I said, before giving him another five dollars for some gauze.

When I told my friend Randi about the guy, she said, "Oh, him... He's been panhandling around here for quite a while. He's usually down on Fourth Avenue hitting up the tourists with his story."

Oh well, taken again.

One could get bitter with this kind of knowledge, but I am not going to do that.

I'm going to trust M. until he is trust-worthy.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

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