Sunday, December 19, 2010
The Request Part 4
Markus was a bum, begging for money to make his way. He wasn’t a drug attic or and alcoholic for that matter. He was a helper of men. He didn’t preach to his fellow sidewalk urchins. In fact, Marcus did his best to make their lives better. ‘It was his eyes,’ Robert thought, ‘they were kind and fragile.’ Most people that went by him would give him they change in their pocket.
Robert paused at a corner and showed the wallet size picture out to a man sitting on a small piece of cardboard.
“I don’t know him,” answered the man.
It was Robert’s dress and the way he held himself. He looked like a cop and sense he brought no other close this was going to be more difficult. He stood over the man in contemplation before sitting down beside him.
“I said, I don’t know him,” responded the man as he watched the officer get comfortable.
Robert shook his head and could already tell why the man sat on cardboard. The concrete was cold and was already stealing body heat. “I am a cop, but I am not from Portland,” he said, showing his identification.
“Why are you here looking for…” he said, stopping just short of saying Markus’ name.
“I am here looking for people that knew Marcus. He is dead,” Robert said, bluntly.
The man got quiet and Robert could tell he was about to cry. He held out his white handkerchief and the poor man just laughed and grabbed for his grey one from his breast pocket.
Robert watched him wipe his eyes and blow his nose before saying, “How?”
“Heart attack over in Boise,” Robert answered folding in tear catcher into a small square and placing back into his pocket.
“So why are you tell me this,” asked the poor man.
“Yeah, but how would we get there,” he asked.
“Let me worry about that, behind the fountain by 2pm, I will make sure they get there,” Robert answered referring to the fountain near the Saturday market.
“Why are you doing this,” he whispered.
“I have my reasons.”
“Okay, but how do I know you aren’t trying to pull some prank on us.”
“Have faith brother,” he answered, lifting himself to his feet and rubbing his buttocks with both hands.
The poor man just stared off across the street.
Robert knew that there wasn’t a need to wait for an answer. That was Markus’ way and what he would have said, “Have faith brother,” and walk away.
He talked to many street people that day. Some would run for him others would stay and talk to Robert. Once they found out about Markus. They would all break down. Markus had been here, he had touched the hearts of these people. No one knew Markus before his troubles but he was a good man.