For anyone unfamiliar with Loose Park, there is a spot near the Rose Garden which is a gigantic, concrete pavilion, covering an area with multiple picnic tables. It is in this place that today’s cardio workout commenced. As we warm up near the end of picnic table rows and begin some of our first jumps, push-ups, and other assorted tortures, an older gentlemen walks out of the smoldering heat and into our area. He is a mere two picnic tables south of our group.
Upon first glance of this man, one could surmise that he was a vagrant traveler*. That is, unless he indeed DOES have a baby at home, and is merely using its stroller to tote around a few belongings on this day. OR PERHAPS he did something grievous enough at his home that his possible-wife threw him out of the house…for a month. He has very dark, sun-tanned, semi-wrinkled (dare I say, unwashed?) skin, and shoulder-length blonde, wiry hair, with dark roots, and is wearing nothing but board shorts and tennis shoes. I couldn’t give you many more details than that, because I felt that if I looked too long, my eyes would either melt out of my skull, or I would turn into a pillar of salt.
As I begin a series of jump ropes (I would estimate about 500-1,000 jumps, because that’s what it felt like, but I didn’t count them so couldn’t say for sure.), I am facing South, and therefore this man, whom I’ve decided to name Marvin (Thank you, Heather, for the name.), is in my plain view. I watch as he carefully places a towel flat on the bench of the picnic table. Then I notice he begins putting a few items from the baby stroller onto the table—a plastic bag, a small green and white striped mirror, and…a box of…no way….a BOX of blonde “Nice and Easy” hair dye! What??? I figure that it couldn’t POSSIBLY be actual hair dye! It must just be the box that is handy to carry around things like…Kleenex (He WAS sneezing, after all.)…or rolling papers with tobacco…or peanuts or something! MAYBE, Marvin just likes the picture of the woman on the front. But NO….. ….it is, INDEED, a box of hair dye, and one that he has apparently decided to use…right THERE. Why not, right? I mean…who DOESN’T want to take care of their dark roots at a public park?
At this point, I’ve moved on to other sweat-drenching exercises, but there is NO mistaking the fumes of dye wafting into my nostrils. I take a glance over, and yes…application…all over his head. I did not realize that homeless men took so much interest in their appearance, but Marvin must’ve had a hot date lined up….maybe with the girl on the box.
So then Marvin lies down on the bench, and I assume he intends on napping while the dye sets into his hair follicles. No….this is no nap. In complete surprise, I peek over to see that he’s brought the mirror up to his face, and is applying the hair dye…TO HIS EYEBROWS!! Just squirting directly from the bottle to his face! Oh, this guy is SERIOUS. We CAN’T be dying our homeless hair without also dying EYEBROWS….and Sideburns…..AND I’m sure that if he had a beard, it would have gotten the goo rubbed all over it, too.
As we walk away, I can’t help but wonder, …….
“Where does ‘hair dye guy’ plan to wash out all that hair color?”
*I feel compelled to mention that I, personally, hold no grudge against someone who is truly homeless. I do not know their stories, and believe there are several who really HAVE encountered a series of unfortunate events that led to their demise. Unfortunately, there is no way to discern the true homeless people from the non-homeless ones, upon first glance. I merely assume they are what/who they say they are, and I wish the best for them, either way.