I spoke to Erwin twice in my entire life, but I saw him almost every day while going to school. I’d pass on the other side of the street and naturally turn my head to the right to see him. An old man with patchy graying hair under a worn brown hat and squinty eyes.
That was Old Erwin.
He’d always been around as far as I knew. As a little kid he frightened me, I’d cling to my mom and ask her to hurry up. I didn’t want to be near the ‘creepy hobo’. Over time, I got used to his presence on the street corner. He was like a statue, a part of the structure.
Erwin never caused any trouble. He was quiet and although he usually had this empty rusty can next to where he tended to sit, he never asked passerbys for cash. And whatever money he did have went to taking care of the friends he had. The furry or feathery ones.