Karmic Blunderbuss

It's the last thing I expect to see
when walking through the lobby
of my storage unit facility
which doubles as a makeshift art gallery.
My boots glue to the floor
in front of the massive portrait.
but I don't know which words
can respectfully finish the sentence.

The soccer-mom-sentry sitting behind a desk
cluttered with smutty romance novels
homework forged for children
and unfinished job applications
speaks on my behalf:
"...One of the homeless guys in town."
The way she puts it
grinds my teeth.
I prefer to refer to those gentlemen
as "permanent outdoorsmen".

"A lot of people ask about that photo,"
she continues
as my pupils absorb the aura
enhanced by a crafty lens.
His blue eyes glisten
a story all their own
from their perch above
his beard that's long and gray
but perfectly managed.

"I give him a few cigarettes
whenever I run into him,"
I tell her, the busy patches
on his tattered denim jacket
drawing my attention
south from his countenance.
I'm sure that some were earned in Vietnam.
"He always nods his head
when I drive by."

She scrawls some minutia
on a form before her
and informs me of the reason
for this unexpected meeting.
"The owner here
is an amateur photographer
and asked to take his picture."

I wonder if there was monetary compensation.
The way he's reduced to pronouns
brings forth my next query.
"What's his name?"
I feel guilty for not knowing already
since we cross paths so often.

"Patrick," she replies.
"Tell him he's famous
the next time you see him."

I will do no such thing.
I will claim no authority.

I walk up to my 5' x 7' garage door
on the second floor
of a building with heat, locks
and strong lighting
then ponder what Patrick would do
with $79 dollars-a-month.

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