Every time I walked past him, I’d give him money. I wish I could tell you his name, but I can’t remember it. It’s unfamiliar to me and complicated and I need to have him write it down. He has a dog… Moreno is his name. The two travel together throughout the day from park bench to coffee shop (where Moreno waits outside while his person sits at the counter drinking his morning latte)… then they head to their spot on the corner. During the winter they sleep in the ATM space of the bank. I get the sense that the neighborhood takes care of them. They are often seen talking to people and unlike others who put cups out for money, he happily sits there smiling and looks.. I guess.. less desperate. Nonetheless, the two, Moreno and his person, have a soft spot in my heart. And when we returned from summer break, I couldn’t find them.
Before we’d left for the break I had asked Moreno’s dad if I could get anything for him in the US.. his only request was a lighter that had US war ships on it. And by God I found it! I also managed to find him a baseball cap with the Cincinnati Reds on it too! Well, today I found the duo!!! They had been away for 3 months along the coast. And now that my Spanish is better, I got a bit more of their story. Moreno is 8 and his person is 52. He’s from outside of Barcelona and has a sister who works at “Mercadona”.. a grocery store. She’s “40 or 50 he says”. I’m guessing that she’s the one who provides him with the cell phone that he pulled out to show me what his two passions were.. UFO’s and “fantasmas” or ghosts. And together we watched youtube videos of both. Moreno’s dad is hoping to fly to Central America in February to start a hot dog business. He wants to have a stand from which to sell hot dogs. He loves traveling but hasn’t had the opportunity to go to the US yet. He loves writing poetry, but doesn’t have his papers with him. He has a friend who keeps them for him.
I’d love to know his story.. and I think I will, little by little. As I’m guessing he’s choosing to live like this..