He walked out of the woods.
I watched from a distance, though I still felt afraid.
He stood where the weeds meet the road.
I observed from inside my father’s paint store.
He faced east, my direction, looking for something.
I waited to see what he would do.
He changed course and headed south when he saw my brother pull into the paint store parking lot.
I got distracted with phone calls and customers.
Fifteen minutes or so passed. Then I remembered what I had been doing.
I went outside and spotted him across the street.
He combed the parking lot of a pawn shop.
I went behind my car and peered over the roof.
He picked up objects and put them in a flimsy plastic bag.
I continued to watch.
He picked up something, examined it, and threw it hard.
I grew suspicious.
He turned and faced my side of the street again, crossed over, and disappeared.
The paint store got busy again. I went back inside. About 30 minutes went by.
I peered out a window and saw him.
He sat a ways down on the sidewalk of the strip mall next door.
I grabbed a Mountain Dew and Snicker’s bar, and walked towards him down the long sidewalk.
He didn’t notice me coming.
I moved to the edge to make myself more visible.
He looked up with fear in his eyes, his face sunburned and his shirt white.
I said, “Here you go. I thought you might be hungry.”
I held out the soda and candy bar, feeling a bit stupid.
He had only a bag, notebook and pen.
I said, “I just wanted to give you these. I saw you walk out of the woods.”
He said, “Yeah, someone took my clothes, but my friend found them for me.”
I said, “Oh.”
He took and ate
I turned and walked away, and said, “I’m sorry it’s not very nutritious.”
He said, “No, I mean thanks a lot. Just by what you did you’ve enriched my...um...my...”
I said, “Your life.”
He said, “Yeah, my life.”
We both laughed.
A couple hours later, I saw him crossing the street. He walked back into the woods.