Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I passed a homeless man this morning that forced me to smile. He was – like many members of the transient community – wearing many layers of clothing. In this instance, he was wearing more than a dozen t-shirts. On the outermost layer, stretched tight over the mass of the many shirts beneath, was a shirt featuring a jack-o-lantern wishing me a happy Halloween. While a festive shirt can be reason enough to smile, what forced me to smile was the thought of how many other holiday shirts he had on beneath and if he just cycled through them as dictated by the time of year. For instance, how many Christmas shirts did he have on? How long before Christmas would he begin to wear them? How soon after Christmas must one cease wearing Yuletide apparel? Is it – as is the case with Christmas lights – a week after New Years? Or can he take a few extra days or weeks before rotating his Valentine’s Day shirt to the surface? With all of these questions racing through my mind, I wanted to stop and ask him. Alas, he was asleep.

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