a smile and a fist bump

They cleared out a homeless camp that was in a patch of woods I pass daily on my bike ride to and from work.

It was just one person “living” there. There are a few one-person camps I pass on my route, tucked away off the bike trail and main roads. Some hidden better than others, having taken several rides right past them before I glimpsed them.

I’m better at recognizing the signs of where a camp might be: worn trails off the asphalt and into the bush, or has been: cleared brush and multiple “No Trespassing” signs. I know where most of the regulars stay or hang around during the daylight hours.

The camp they cleared away was fairly established. Had a tent with a real mattress, held off the ground on a platform of pallets. Had camp chairs and a line of suitcases. Had a stand mirror and traps strung around as makeshift walls. Had several shopping carts of stuff.

I only saw the resident twice in six months of riding, but one time he was panhandling at the corner and he gave me a smile and a fist bump.

Sleeping rough in the city, even if it’s in the woods, especially in Florida, must be challenging. I don’t envy those in that unfortunate position.

Hope that dude found another place he can tuck into and have some sense of safety.


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