i saw him on the street. he was walking east on route two carrying a backpack and a guitar. nobody carrying luggage is ever walking east on route two unless thy have a place to go with no other way to get there, or unless they don't have a place to go except "away".
he looked hungry, and he looked like he didn't have a place to go, and it was cold out. and sleeting. he didn't look homeless; he looked like a kid who had a home but was far from it and maybe kind of lost.
i had time enough before my appointment to take him to the next town in the direction he was heading, and drop him at the public library.
on the ride there i learned that he had come up from boston for a couple of days because originally he was going to visit some friends but then at the last minute they called and said something had come up and they were busy but he really wanted to get out of the city and the ticket was bought already and the bags already packed so he figured he'd go adventuring.
he hadn't counted on the wether being so messy, though.
and as i left him off there i was thinking: i have now left him stranded in a small town even farther from the usual amenities. i thought about offering him my home for the night, but i decided i am not comfortabel with people in my house while i sleep. but i also decided i was comfortable enough to offer him a hot meal and a ride back into burlington if he wanted it.
so i called him before my appointment and made the offer and said he could have an hour or so to think about it and he should call me back then.
and he called back to say he'd really like that.
so i picked him up at the library and took him home.
it turned out that he hadn't eaten lunch yet, which was ok by me since it was lunch time in my house.
and get this: it was getting to be that day when i have to be really disciplined in eating the leftovers i don't really feel like eating JUST so the food doesn't go to waste and boo-yah, i will tell you THAT problem is solved.
he ate the leftover winter vegetable stew.
he ate the leftover vegetarian chili over corn chips.
and then he was hungry again and i made him hotdogs, mashed potato and cheese.
day before yesterday i had made too many mashed potatoes because i needed to use up potatoes before they went bad. i didn't really feel like eating them. good thing he saved me from that.
he hung out on my sofa. he played some guitar. he looked at maps. we talked about stuff.
it turns out he has a job and an apartment in boston. he works as a bicycle delivery guy and he lives in a food not bombs collective.
i got the feeling he was a little broken down at the soul and that an adventure in vermont was maybe what he needed to set him right. vermont was to him a place of happy boyhood days at summer camp and then later just camping, so even withut the friend available, he still came.
if you are following my story at all you know that i get like this sometimes.
and i had been meaning for a couple of days to actually MAKE the quickbread to use up the carrots and the banana and to MAKE the mushroom ragout but i'd kept getting distracted or lost motivation, so the young man's appearance was a good excuse to get those done.
after dinner (he had two large helpings) i sent him on his way with a loaf of fresh quickbread and a jar of my apple jam.
i hope these small kindnesses give him the boost he needs to get him going again.