Long, long ago in the year 2011(long to year ratio 1:1), our family moved into our current home. Every weekday the three of us would have to go our separate ways for the day. My husband would drop me off at work, my daughter off at school, and then continue on with whatever was on his plate for the day.
Since we took the same route everyday we quickly noticed an odd scene. At the end of our block there was a gentleman parked in front of his house (presumably). He was a skinny fellow, average height, and probably in his 30s. He looked like a man who worked with his hands. He looked weathered and a little scary.
Often times he read his paper in the car which was strange by itself. But the oddest thing was the wheelbarrow sticking out of his trunk. Sometimes he would be loading it in the back, sometimes his car would be parked without the wheelbarrow, sometimes he would be reading as we came upon him, and other times we would see him head to work (we thought) with his wheelbarrow.
We maybe supposed him to be some sort of landscaper or something to that effect. Sometimes I wondered if maybe he lived in that car and that wasn’t even his house. And that he had to leave there every morning so as not to bother those who did live there. Maybe he did odd jobs just to keep his car in gas?
But it didn’t matter the weather, he always seemed to leave in the morning and head off with his wheelbarrow. We also began to notice him on weekends as well.
My husband remarked that if he ever wrote a screenplay this guy would be written in. This small little mystery kept us amused and thinking for nearly a year.
Then in 2012 I did the couch to 5k program and discovered the truth.
One day I was running and I had finally gotten to the longer distances of the program and was at the 2.75 mile benchmark.
As I turned a corner there I saw wheelbarrow man! He was walking down the sidewalk, tattoos bared with his wheelbarrow, his wheelbarrow full of newspapers!
Gobsmacked and a little disappointed that the man only delivered newspapers (and not some more fanciful and magical job) I finished my run.
I then began to run into him regularly and at different points during the run. I started doing a little casual wave but his eyes always faced forward walking with his wheelbarrow. He was intense in his own thoughts or his music as he walked down the street.
So that is wheelbarrow man. I swear the guy’s route covers a large swath of blocks since I have seen him so many places and at many different times in the morning.
But in my mind he also encourages me (just like the jackrabbits) to continue running.