Eddie and I have been friends for about two years. He’s had several jobs in that time, but none have been enough to get him off the streets. So he moves around the neighborhood and sleeps, eats and works where he can.
Whenever I run into him we talk about baseball because he knows that’s what I like. And I buy pastrami sandwiches with extra mustard because I know that’s what he likes.
But last night Eddie wanted to tell me a story first. It was about a real estate deal he had just closed.
“I figured there would be an opportunity when I saw the scaffolding go up,” he explained. “This is perfect because it’s around a church. The super won’t run me off because he wants God to like him.”
Eddie ended up with a spot along the south side of the building. The break between a stairway and a garbage area gave him privacy and the scaffolding gave him some shelter.
“I’ve finally got a roof over my head,” he said. “That will be good for the winter.”
A thick cut of old carpet keeps him off the sidewalk and several blankets keep him warm.
“It’s downright cozy,” Eddie said. “What more could I ask for?”
“What about a pastrami sandwich with extra mustard?” I offered.
“That sounds great,” Eddie said. “So what do you think of the Yankees’ chances next year?”
“I like ‘em.”
We would never ask each other for anything because that’s just not our way. This relationship passes for a friendship about as well as Eddie’s new place passes for a home.
They’ll both have to do for now.