The Gutter Guy


Hope walked through my door yesterday in white painter’s shorts splotched with color and anchored with earth. He was covered in ruddy leaves and muck and wearing work boots worn through the soles. His gray hair told me history and his smile lines knowing. He asked me if I was New Age which also told me his age. I simply answered “I’m odd” to which he responded “I know.” And then we had a conversation.

It’s funny how the Universe delivers people and lessons. Just the night before I was lying in bed sobbing, my dear friend doing all she could to bind me to something hopeful when I was having trouble finding anything at all. And one of the last things she said before I shut out the lights (and my life) for the evening was “you have the power, no matter how diminished you may feel it is, to not only survive this but to triumph over it.” Who uses the word triumph anymore? Well, the Gutter Guy, in that same unmistakable sentence word-for-word in my doorway. So I settled back to listen because the Universe wields a mighty hammer ~ THUNK. Between the eyes.

Fire Escape

Fire Escape

We spoke of attitude and perseverance; life challenges and changes. We discussed Martin Buber’s ‘I and Thou’ and the ‘I Am Discourses’ because, as it turns out, the Gutter Guy has an advanced degree in Philosophy & Religion. We discussed the joys and freedom that come with being in one’s 40’s. He fancied me a Buddhist which probably isn’t far from the truth. We share the same ideology on the three levels: intellect, knowing and being. He somehow knew that I am a sensitive and an empath but did not judge me for these things nor I, him, for practicing miracles. Neither of us attend church but we both tithe ~ he in the form of books/ideas to those he senses will appreciate them or clearly need them; me in the form of time and encouragement to those struggling with domestic violence survival.

The truth is, it felt like sitting with my best friend from seven lifetimes ago who knew to show up ‘just in time.’ The bigger truth is I think he was just that.

He promised to leave a book in between the front and storm doors the next time he is out this way along with another from his personal library. Something that he said changed his life. Something that gave him the power to change his circumstance. Something.

Just when I needed anything at all the Universe sent the Gutter Guy with something just right.