This morning, I was walking the streets of San Francisco, a little unsure of what I was going to find, and as the morning progressed throughout the day, and around noon, the situation would produce a cool and warm air in summer, a cool breeze I was walking in this hotel, which seemed to be once, a great hotel somehow, now a little cautious, and sadder on its dark side, clean and around its frame, we could see that its name was obviously well known, always at a certain level, it was a point of reference, it would sprout and sweep the pavement every morning, it would show a certain good-for-nothing character, dirty garbage, unshaven, thin, not too big, it was half of its teeth on its head, his fingers slightly bent, a good person who sweeps, as if he had no worries in the world, as happy as possible, as if he had a secret and only knew As if he was the golden fleece itself, I stopped and told him several times. He said he did this job, sweeping and cleaning the boiler and installing lights in the basement, and so on. Spend fourteen years. I could not believe it. And he says, and says humble, with gratitude and pride,
“I sleep near the oven, it’s hot there, I like it and it’s private.”
And he smiled with a funny smile, as if he had swallowed a golden fish. I mean, he was happy with his simple life and it was simple, and I thought how nice it was for this hotel. put this poor soul in a bed and put a roof over his head and a warm place to warm his feet, and not charge a penny. As a result, wait for an hour of work, if that.
As I mentioned before, I saw him from time to time, nodding when I saw him and I passed him. He was moving away from me and facing the street, like an old soldier, standing at attention, as if he were an officer, a general. Always smiling, never dissatisfied, an old and happy soul that I have always thought about. In fact, I liked walking down the street, and a few times, if it was morning, and I was in that area, I would walk deliberately next to the hotel, expecting it to be outside and I could say hello and most of the time he was. Sometimes he went in or out the side door of the hotel, but, whatever happened, if he saw me, he would smile and say hello.
“What makes a man like that?” I thought at that moment, “Most people do not smile, and certainly not strangers.” But it was not like most people, it was different, a vagabond, I said to myself, he is just an old vagabond, no more, and I thought I was talking to him, and maybe he was more vagabond than he, he did not have a job, he had twenty-year-old boy from the Midwest, far from home, however, I thought, do not judge, he Apparently, in the late sixties or early seventies, if I remember correctly, that’s what I thought, I did not know at the time, He says he was in 1968.
When I was about to say it, I passed it and he was waiting for it, aside as if he were my driver. I loved him. Anyway, I kept looking for work, knocking on doors, listening to the noise of the street. The tires run, I like those sounds, the sounds of the birds, the horns of the cars, etc. Then, one day, a few months later, I picked up a newspaper and discovered that he had died. Barely raised and dead, I was then sixty-six, it was an old age, I suppose, at that moment. But what surprised me, what fascinated me most, was not really that, even if it was sad that I died, and maybe not from a real age, I even looked. More closely the paper, I saw his face, I affirmed it. It was the same person who read and reread, he said.
“(such and such) … leaves $ 250,000 at the hotel in your will.”
“If that does not work, I said to myself.
I tell you, you know absolutely nothing about others. Maybe my first lesson in an absolutely wrong trial, and I never called a vagabond again: do not judge the person because he looks like the one he has.