A bowl of cereal and many cups of coffee later, I wandered into the pool area where I lowered myself into the jets of the jacuzzi. The timer was set for 15 minutes and when it clicked off, I climbed out and grabbed my towels to dry off. Throwing on my over sized T shirt used as a bathing suit cover up, I made it down the hallway and to the Exit sign which leads to the stairs. As I was opening the door, the husband was just descending from the stairs. He was headed for coffee and said "meet me outside on the bench. It's nice outside this morning." I agreed and hauled my laptop and myself out to the bench to wait on him.
He was right. It was perfect on that bench sheltered from the sun in a little nook that provided a stand up ashtray for the smokers. He was enjoying that smoke and I was thinking how grateful I was that I didn't do that anymore.
In the distance, a man could be seen crossing the parking lot. Head down, he was ambling along and from his rolling walk, he could be defined as "not a young man." As he got closer we could hear the crunch of his shoes on the dirt and gravel blown onto the paved lot by the sand storms of yesterday. Soon he looked up and noticed us sitting in the niche on the bench and he changed his direction and headed our way. As he walked toward us, he dug into the pocket of his shirt and retrieved small clear bags. He came closer and greeted us and explained what he had for sale. " Just 3.00 for these earring. Just enough for me to go inside and get some food." he begged.
I'm thinking it was enough to buy a bottle of wine. I could be wrong but I've been down this road before.
He was dressed in worn jeans, a shirt stretched tight across his paunch, and a vest that had seen better days. A ball cap sat on his head, his hair had been solid black at one time but today it showed strands of silver heavily woven in with the black. A small backpack was strung through his arms and across his back with a U.S. Flag planted prominently on a small stick and waving gently as he moved. Above you can see a picture of Byron Toledo holding the jewelry I agreed to purchase.
Maybe he was hungry. I bought a necklace and a pair of earrings and he let me snap his pic. I thought it was a great deal.