Even the most romantic city in the world isn’t immune to challenges that leave people in need.
Tonight as I walked home, it was 43°/6°. I saw no less than three homeless people getting ready to sleep. Well, that’s not quite right. They have homes: the covered entry of a shop; two park benches pulled together; the tiled bench in the métro. They just don’t have houses.
The first man has a small pile of things I would call his: a pan, an umbrella, a sleeping bag, sometimes a dog. The second man hadn’t unpacked his backpack by the time I had walked by. The third had only his beer and his thoughts to comfort him.
These guys are different than the savoir-faire panhandlers who beg you with a greeting or an outstretched hand. I’ve never heard them speak to anyone, nor leave their spot. Most part-time bums in France leave their posts at meal times.
Not these guys.
They are always there, always unseen.
It’s really breaking my heart.