I have spent a good deal of time in the last few weeks on a small beach in the Pacific Northwest. This little beach town is so like all the ones I have visited on the East Coast – all the way from Key West to Maine. Just a typical beach town. But the beach is so different. Covered with driftwood and kelp with bitter cold water – not really a place for fun in the sun one would think but indeed the people who are bathing and sunning there would not agree with me.
I am an inveterate people watcher. My first day at the beach I noticed an older gentleman with a jacket and a back pack and a head full of white hair – somewhat longish. Something about his mannerisms piqued my curiousity and I actually thought that I might get a chance to speak to him. But in all my sightings he has not come close enough for that – only close enough for me to realize he has the look of someone who lives outside maybe…..
Over a period of 3 weeks I have seen him on the beach maybe half a dozen times. And once I saw him walking along the road from the city to the beach about 2 miles from the beach. So I have been wondering what he is.
He could be a homeless ex VietNam vet who lies on the beach dreaming of old battles.
He could be a person who chose to run away from a nursing home because he would rather spend his days on the beach and his nights in the outside.
He could be an ax murderer who has tons of young girls tied in his basement.
Yesterday he left the beach around dark
He went up to the shower offered by the city to wash off the sand but it seemed that indeed he was actually taking a full bath shower. That cemented my idea that he is somehow homeless or lives on the streets. But of course it is wrong for me to stereotype him based on his look or even his behavior. He may just be a retired older gentleman who loves the beach and walking and walks our every day from him home – which may even be a mansion in the area nearby this particular beach. Will I ever know? Will I have a chance or the courage to talk to him? Stay tuned – I will.