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Archive for April 15th, 2010

John pushing one of this two carts (Photo: Reed)

Taxes are due today.  Ugh… I have waited to the last minute.  Shame on me.  Maybe the IRS will give me $10!

On Day 115 I was walking home and walked by a man pushing two shopping carts full of stuff south down Connecticut Avenue.  He had a system where he would push one of the carts about a block, leave it there, then go back and push the second cart up to where he had left the first one.  He repeats this for hours sometimes.  I stopped and offered to help push his carts for a while so he didn’t have to keep making double trips.  He wouldn’t accept my help.  

His name was John.  Two Johns in a row! 

Even from a few feet away I clearly smelled a very foul vinegar-like odor coming from John.  He definitely needs some new clothes and a good shower.  I wanted to help him and offered him my $10.  He accepted it.

Photo: Reed

His shopping carts are full of grocery store boxes and empty bottles and all kinds of other things.  I asked where he leaves the items during the day, because I imagine he can’t stay with the items all day long.  He said he usually just leaves them down near the McDonald’s on 20th and M Street.   The 64-year-old is obviously uncomfortable talking to me…but I push on.    

John has been homeless for five years he says as he looks around a bit erratically.  The tattered hat he wears cast a slight shadow on the upper part of his face making it difficult to see his eyes as I speak with him.  He says that he ended up homeless here in DC after moving down from Albany.  “I couldn’t find housing when I got here,” he said.  He has been pushing the carts for years. 

My guess is that he suffers from some form of mental illness. He says that he will use my $10 for food.  I asked him if there was anything that the YoG followers could help him with, but he said “no.”  I really wanted to get his clothes washed for him or get him some new ones but he said he had no contact information, although I might be able to find him near that McDonald’s he mentioned.  Incidentally that is the same McDonald’s where Gregory from Day 71 used to hang out.  I haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks now.

I managed to get a short video of John, but then he got a little antsy and went on his way.

  

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