Keeping Warm Near Pennsylvania Avenue


Hot exhaust spewed up from the metro. I smelled burned rubber wafting from the brakes ridden too hard, too long, underground. Rhythmic explosions, a continual barrage of clanking machinery, shook the sidewalk and the red fence. The man sprawled in the sun on top of the grate, wrapped in his blanket, warming himself. Every now and then he stuck his fingers in his ears when the noise crescendoed to an impossible decibel. Hardly a pleasant spot, although the sun must have felt nice.


Up the hill, not too far away, we’d admired the White House.  Cold and elegant, floating in an expanse of sparkling white.


Down the hill, on the Washington Mall, we heard laughter: college students making snow angels and kite-skiing.

We hurried past the homeless man toward the fun and soon forgot him until much later, after dark, when I uploaded these pictures to the computer.

I wonder where he is now? Will he survive the night?

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