"I hit a straight section, which almost seems to have been groomed, behind the Corporate Square Office Park. On the approach to North Druid Hills Road a two-lane bridge spans the creek, connecting the access road to Buford Highway. I spot a man carrying an armload of kindling toward the bridge. He's dressed for cold weather, wearing an assortment of mismatched gear. He sports a green knit cap underneath the hood of a yellow sweatshirt, which is in turn covered by a purple velour pullover. Gloves, worn jeans, and oversized cowboy boots round out his gear, and a full beard and moustache further embellish his gruff exterior.
"At first I take him for a day laborer working on grounds cleanup, but his proximity to the bridge leads me to believe that he is one of the transient residents of Peachtree Creek. He continues toward the bridge and makes his way underneath. Dropping the load of firewood, he begins smashing the larger pieces against a rock to create fuel for the evening's fire.
"Because he's not yet aware of my presence, I call out to him as I approach: 'Hey, how's it going?' Stupid question, I think to myself. How the hell would things be going for someone living under a bridge? Focused on the task at hand, he doesn't hear me.
'Hello,' I try again. He looks up, scans the horizon, and finally catches sight of me. He smiles, peels back his hood, and replies, 'How you doin'?'
'Goin' real well. Nice day, huh?'
"He seems friendly and congenial. I'm pleasantly surprised. What little contact I've previously had with the homeless along the creek has led me to believe that they are a skittish bunch, usually slipping away from their abodes at the first sign of company."
@ Roxanne Dimacale
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