He walked the streets .. tired. He was not unhappy, but those who saw him could see how hard life had been on him. The lines on his face, his worn crippled hands, his tattered clothes, the slow pace of age worn legs.
Each day he waited in line at the shelter, knowing there would be a free hot meal waiting on the other side of the walls. The people there only asked that he sat in a church pew and listened to their words for a bit, then he could quickly eat the meal handed him.
The directors were kind. Most nights a cot was offered to him and he knew he could stay in the safety of the shelter, but each night he quietly shook his head and headed out the back door and down the alley.
His eyes darting back and forth to make sure he wasnt followed as he ducked low and crawled beneath the old bridge deep inside the forgotten garden of the once popular but now neglected cemetary.
Lifting the flap of the large refrigerator box that was now his home, he settled into the worn blankets. His body rocking back and forth to chase off the cold of the night.
It wasn't long before his eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep. Dreaming most nights of the friends and family he had left behind. Flashes of sad eyes, beckoning fingers, calls for him to come home.
Each morning he would awake, shake off those feelings and sit and listen to the birds, calling to one another, relaying messages. He would stay most of the day in or near his home. Being one with the solitude.
He knew most didnt understand his choice to live this way, he couldnt explain it even if he tried, which he never did, but for the first time in all of his living years the voices were quiet and he was finally at peace.
These were the times he smiled. When no one was around to see.