This is Floyd.
This is Floyd, a jovial fellow I met this evening while out for a very brief walk. He was counting bottles and cans which he’d collected, and looked up at me as I passed. A camera was tethered to my wrist so I asked if I could take his photo. Without questioning why he stood up and said, “Sure,” and smiled. When asked his name he told me but then stroked his beard and said that sometimes kids call him Santa. He collects bottles and cans most days and when asked how long he’s been doing it he replied all his life. He also added that he is 50 and has his own place. Floyd never asked me for money or anything for that matter; I was the one asking. When offered a gift card to McDonald's (which someone had given me for the sole purpose to offer people on the street) he took it, smiled, and said thank you. Shortly there after we parted and Floyd went back to counting and sorting his bottles. About 10 minutes later while on my way home I saw him across the street and his bag was empty, he just turned them in, he told me. When asked how much they were worth he said $4.55 with a big smile. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think I would be smiling if I was out collecting bottles to pay my bills, but then again I’m not always smiling at my job which I do daily. Each one of use is making it the best we can in this world, getting by to pay our bills. Doing what we have to to survive. To quote the late mystic, Ram Dass, “We're all just walking each other home.” Tonight I met Floyd and my life is enriched because of him.