What can I say? He was the kind of guy who saw things. Whenever his eyes were open he saw something, like where he was going, or words, when he was reading, and sometimes when you were with him he’d look right at you. I remember seeing him look at other people, too, and buildings and trees—you name it, he saw it.
He was also a man who listened and heard things. His ears were always open, catching the sound of a car honking, dry leaves, footsteps in the hall. Sometimes, he even heard things while he was asleep, and if they were loud, well, that would be the kind of thing that made him wake up. He was just that kind of guy.
One time when I was with him he got thirsty and had something to drink. I happen to know he ate, too, and I think he did it every day.
What I remember most about him is that he was sometimes inside and sometimes outside, but you can be sure, he was never ever in and out at the same time. And you could do things with him, too, like go outside or stay at home. If he wasn’t with anyone, he was alone, and I guess that’s how he is now.
What was the deal with him and his feet? Whenever he put one in front of the other, he would move– walk, run, skip – some motion always came of it. And if he didn’t do that, and was not in a moving vehicle, he was still.
I want to talk about the way he used money. Man, did he spend it. He’d buy things for himself — clothes, toothpaste, electronics, food, chairs, whatever he needed. I was with him when he bought slacks once. He handed the clerk cash and waited for the change, just like that. I’ll never forget.
What everyone doesn’t know is that there were times when he’d buy things for other people. He’d go into a store, and actually pay for something that he would never own himself. I remember he came to my house one night for dinner–so he could eat–and he gave me a bottle of wine that he’d bought with money.
You could always count on him wearing clothes. The colder it was, the more he had on. Like a coat. And if it was warmer, he had fewer clothes on, but he always, always wore shoes.
He was the kind of guy who slept at night. He just put his head down on the pillow, then woke up when it got light out, or after a several hours. And you know what he’d do if he needed to get up at a specific time? He would set an alarm. That’s just the kind of guy he was.
The things this guy said. He was the kind of person you had conversations with when you talked to him. Sometimes, when someone spoke to him, he would open his mouth and talk right back, or he would pause and then answer. One time, when he didn’t know something, he asked a question. And when he felt people couldn’t hear him because of other sounds around, let me tell you, he would raise his voice. But if he was at the library, or at a movie, he spoke softly. I think that’s what I’ll miss the most.