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Mountain Man Gets a Goat and Moves in the Valley

I used to live on Main St., the one street of major commerce in this town. While I lived there I came to know the beggars that camed out on the street and got change for coffee and snacks and booze on the street. Some of these people were at such a state of neglect that they were very aggressive. Most of them deserve nicknames. Just because they are so individual in this town of many sames.

There is Walking Dude, some people call him suntan man, but he walks around all day most everyday. Sometimes he stops for a cigarette. But mainly he walks around and sometimes he hides his groceries in the free periodical dispenser, those metal things with the spring loaded doors that slam shut.

There is also Slow Walking Lady. She walks very slowly some days, and she shows physical signs of schizophrenic medication. Her real name is Mary. She speaks very slowly. I have heard her say, "Are you a member of the Northampton Buisness Assiciation?"
Someone responds, "No."
"Oh, well I used to get flyers sent to my door. Yeah. Yeah." very slowly, "And I went to the meeting in the building. Have you ever talked to those guys?"
The same person responds, "No."
"Oh really? Oh."
There is also a time when a friend was filming a couple kids on the stairs of a jewelry shop. These kids were talking about things, getting deep into it, nodding thier head and searching for the word. I didn't really understand what they were talking about, concepts and theories of it all, it was all things that are not of daily life importance. But then out of nowhere Mary walks into the frame, and her body contorts into this wierd lean, her hand is all the way out up on the rock building and she is leaning over the sitting people. She pauses, because she does everything slowly, and she says, "Have you ever been homeless in the winter?"
They both pause because they are scared. "No." "No."
There is another pause.
"Oh really? Oh." And she walks off.

One of the people around here is named Mountain Man. His name is Craig or something like that. A year ago Mountain Man had a big beard and was carrying a light wieght around the waist. He wore an oversized green jacket over many layers, even in summer. This man would drink all the time.
I hung out with him on the stoop of calvin coolidge's old office. Mountain Man and Boxcar(thats his stated name) sit there drinking vodka from the bottle and we talk. Boxcar goes on about the war, about the people in the war and the death in the war. When he talks about the war it is very specific. There is mud and bombs and guns and friend's dying and he laughs in between sentences.
One time I brought Mountain Man a beer. One time I brought him a fifth of some whisky. One time I gave him a jar of moonshine. I had the jar for another friend but I saw Mountain Man walking down the street. I was riding in the car with someone, that person was acquainted with Mountain Man. I told the person riding with me to get out of the car and give Mountain Man that Jar. He does this. I watch him hand Mountain Man the jar and then we drive off.
The next day I see Mountain Man and ask him about the jar and he says, "You gave me booze?" and I say, "Yeah, my friend got out of the car and gave you a jar of moonshine." He moves his eyes to look diagonally up.
He says, "Oh I don't remember that, thanks though." And he smiles.
Mountain Man is a very thoughtful person, he remembers some things and he only plays his harmonica alone and he knows one kick ass song and that's it.
Today I saw Mountain Man and he was clean cut, wearing new clothes, walking tall and looking thin. I asked him about things and he told me he got a room here. I am very happy very happy for Craig, Mountain Man I am proud of you.
"I am so glad to hear you are out of the cold for this winter."
He replies, "Yeah. I have spent the last four winters outside and it gets rough. I just gotta keep up the rent." We make faces about the rent and talk about it existing. He touches his jacket and we comment on how cold it is with out body language.
"It's not even winter yet." We laugh. "It's fall."
We talk a bit more then he says, "Gotta go. Bye."
I wave and say goodbye. I look back over to the person I was talking to before and I celebrate a bit. I watch Mountain Man walk across the street and when he is in the distance it is true that he looks like anyone else walking down the street, walking down the street and not sitting on the street or sleeping near the street.
I am very happy for Craig, I think it is Craig, Mountain Man. I played video games for a little bit tonight and even after that I was in a good mood. Most of the time after video games I am empty like I want buttons. Then I can't do anything but attempt to sleep. But not today, Mountain Man carried through. It is a monumental day for the world. And it isn't that great and it is nothing. But wow is all.
Once I saw him sleeping next to the church in the afternoon. There was a workout bike next to a dumpster nearby, I rode the bike as quietly as I could. I took a quietly looked at the garbage. I walked back up the path and it was hot and he was in the shade of a tree.

The grey person returns home to find the kitten has turned into a catperson.