(Note: Those reading “Bernie,” please continue today with Part Three)
When I finished up late that Thursday night making a video and doing crazy voices at Moksha’s house, I stopped at the picturesque private college nearby. The snow continued falling fast and steady, with about three inches already on the ground. I missed wooded parks blanketed with snow, and this college was the next-best thing.
I turned carefully into the school’s main entrance — the snow not cleared as well there as on the main thoroughfares. A couple of cars moved slowly in the distance, glistening horizontal cones of snowflakes leading the way.
Across from one of the beautiful buildings bedecked in Greek columns (or were they Roman?), I noticed a dark figure lying on a concrete bench.
As I drove closer, the prone form looked more and more like a homeless man huddling up from the cold. Why would he be out in the open instead of bundled up near a doorway? Was he alive?
He hadn’t been there long, because the snow had only just begun to pile up on him.
Relishing the opportunity to speak to a real homeless person just before posting the first of my chapters about Bernie, I pulled into a side street and parked. I prepped my camera and my recorder, never sure what I might need.
My camera’s mirror slap was enough to roust him. He turned toward me, and as soon as he realized I was taking his picture, he held up his hand in protest. “Get away from me!” he yelled.
I managed to get a couple pictures of his face.
I ran to the car and fumbled my keys into the snow. Before he could reach me, I found the keys and got inside. I shifted into reverse and mashed the gas pedal, snow flying out from under my front-wheel drive tires.
I spun the car around and got out of there as fast as I could on the slippery streets.
Despite my risky behavior, I was safe again and would live to write “Bernie” without that man-on-the-street interview.