El Guapo in DC

I am El Guapo. The most Guapo man in all of DC. Mucho Amor

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Snow, the Bus and Circling Words

Well look at that. It’s snowing. I wonder what Alberto Gore has to say about that.

I sat there looking at the streetlight watching the rain turn to sleet/snow as my bus failed to arrive on time. I like the winter. What I don’t like is having to hear the “Well, I guess winter is finally here,” comments that I’ve found to be far worse that the heat/humidity comment.

Lo que sea, whatever. It is cold when it is supposed to be cold and I am a happy, gorgeous Guatemalan.

I sat on the bus rumbling around staring into nothing while I listened in on the conversation going on in Spanish next to me. Nothing exciting, but their talk made me hungry.

Then a man, a white man, with a 15-day old beard entered the bus and sat next to me. He was in his forties, had on a leather Redskins jacket and army fatigue pants. He was homeless. Like many of the homeless of Washington DC, he was likely a veteran. Odd that he is homeless in the capitol city. I guess this is our way of saying thank you for actually fighting for the freedom we take for granted. I still bet he puts his hand on over his heart when the national anthem plays. Interesting country this is…

Then I see him take out the Express (daily DC paper). No big deal, but he pulls out a pen and begins to circle and underline random words throughout the articles. Interesante. I looked at his face and was surprised to see that he wasn’t as sun-weathered as many of the homeless of DC. He had very blue eyes and a nose that had met many a fist. It was still a good nose. A prominent nose. A hawkish nose that screamed “don’t fuck with me.” But it was his eyes. His eyes contributed to his alert facial expression as he mechanically circled and underlined words.

Was he intercepting messages for his past colleagues before his journey took him to the streets? Was he still on his journey? CIA, NSA, something maybe so cool that I don’t even know about? Maybe.

I wanted to ask him what he was doing, but I didn’t. What business is it of mine if the Express serves as a communication vehicle for spies?

So, I said a quiet prayer thanking him and all the others who will sleep exposed to the elements while I take my lumpy bed for granted.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo


At 9:19 PM, Blogger Raven said...

Being a vetran myself...I thank everyone of those that did not come home all the way and give them special thanks.
You are a wonderful person for recognizing it and honoring the sacrifice.

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts, of late, have touched my heart deeply.

I appreciate the time that you take to craft your words and put them out there for us to see and feel.


At 8:36 AM, Blogger Kim Ayres said...

I think you'll find if you'd read the words he was circling,they would have said Well, I guess winter is finally here

At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Melissa said...


At 11:14 AM, Blogger C'est la vie!! said...

*sniff, sniff* and I just posted about my "Cabin Fever" ...when I should be thankful I have a warm shelter....

At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

''It is cold when it is supposed to be cold and I am a happy, gorgeous Guatemalan.''

Ne'er a truer word spoken, El Guapo. Your posts make my day a little bit brighter.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger Crankster said...

We don't have snow right now--we've got Siberian tundra wind. I can't imagine sleeping in it. Thanks for reminding me about my blessings.

At 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

El Guapo, you have the heart of poet, philosopher, humanitarian - the talent of a future Noble Prize winning journalist.

I like you and your style very much *kiss*


At 2:39 AM, Blogger Michael said...


How many homeless veterans are there?

Although accurate numbers are impossible to come by -- no one keeps national records on homeless veterans -- the VA estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. And nearly 400,000 experience homelessness over the course of a year. Conservatively, one out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country. According to the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Urban Institute, 1999), veterans account for 23% of all homeless people in America.


At 3:31 PM, Anonymous class-factotum said...

Michael, I looked at those statistics and just on the face of it, they seem somewhat questionable. I have seen evidence from other sources (that I do not have time to track down right now -- I really should be looking for a job!) that many men who claim to be vets are not.

Although I can't point you to a definitive source, I can tell you that shortly after my father died from cancer suspected to have been caused by his service in Vietnam (exposure to Agent Orange), I was approached by a legless man in a wheelchair while I was at a stoplight.

"Help me, I lost my legs in Vietnam," he asked.

"Then why aren't you getting help from the VA?" I asked. My mom was already getting her checks and the connection between my dad's service and his death wasn't ironclad.

"Oh, they lost my address a long time ago."

I told him that he might want to get his butt down to the VA office and straighten things out.

I get angry when bums dishonor those who have truly served and sacrificed for this country by implying that they are not being taken care of. This country does take care of its soldiers. We do not abandon them.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Dolly Parton said...

When did we get snow in D.C.? I live near D.C. and my grandmother lives there and I don't remember us getting so much as a flake. We got some this weekend though.


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