I heard him before I saw him, the man ranting in the wheelchair. At first sight, he looked old. Knotty white hair dirtied by gray surrounded his ruddy face and covered his chin, as if he were a ragged version of the Green Man already worn out by the first day of spring. He guarded one side of the Chinese joint at Colfax and Penn, and I couldn’t make out his words, the enemy he railed against—Part of a mural on Colfax on Capitol Hill, Denver 2009only his frustration. Gray pants hung slack below his right knee: the lower part of that leg was gone. A veteran. Perhaps a diabetic. Perhaps a worker injured on the job.

I was late for my haircut in the shinier part of Uptown. I didn’t linger on Capitol Hill, did not approach him, but I remembered that on

This same corner, a year ago a stranger asked me to have a beer.

Leave A Comment

  1. Denveater March 23, 2009 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Props, Beth, this is a bittersweet little slice of our city.

    Denveater’s last blog post.."I don’t know where I is": Bewilderment at Brewery Bar II

  2. BernardL March 23, 2009 at 6:20 am - Reply

    I had an old WWII vet health teacher in high school who had a distinct philosophy when coming upon people with misfortunes he neither caused nor could do anything about. He told us he would always repeat the same line to himself and move on: ‘There but for the grace of God go I’. It has always worked for me too.

  3. Beth Partin March 23, 2009 at 7:27 am - Reply

    Yeah, Bernard, that is a good one.

    Denveater, thanks for the compliment.

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..MonHaibun: Not Sure How to Ask