Sweetie pie and homeless

In Atlanta now, where the waitresses call you “sweetie” and “honey pie,” it’s sweet, I kinda like it. I went across the street to get a bite to eat and as I ate watched through the window an aged black man, homeless and dirty and mentally ill, arrange all the chairs on the patio outside after the customers had left. According to some calculus only he knew, seemingly- he’d move one an inch and stand back to assess it, then move it a bit more. When he was satisfied with the chairs he put all the table tents in the exact middle of the tables, and used his cane to sweep bits of paper and trash to the curb, now and then talking to someone I couldn’t see, but I’m sure he did. After lunch I walked a few blocks to check out the neighborhood- but for the hotels and malls, which are all interconnected with tube-like walkways several stories above street level, in the rarefied air  above the homeless men and pigeon shit on the streets below- it’s pretty seedy. Dingy liquor stores on 2 corners, supplying pints to those who need them. I saw another homeless man emerge from the store with a dirty backpack, a Blackberry (of all things!) and a night’s supply of vodka and head toward the park nearby, more homeless sitting on the steps in front of corporate buildings (again, with the walkways way up there) and a very few small businesses. Now I shall settle into my little bee-hive-like hotel room, small but a very cunning use of space- to prepare for tomorrow’s activities.

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