As I drew to a complete stop at the top of the hill, I looked across the street and saw Jared sitting on a red milk crate. He was leaning against the brick wall of an old building, wearing a red flannel shirt and a pair of well worn blue jeans. A cigarette hung casually from the left corner of his mouth, and it looked about to fall, but somehow clung to his lip and even bounced a bit as he returned my stare with a smile. He was old; his hair grey, his face marked by crow's feet, and his eyes wise with experience. In his hands he held a sketch pad and pencil. He nodded at me, just as a tear splashed down onto my hand. A rumbling truck wrested me from the moment and I hit the gas, lurching forward. As I drove past, he held my gaze, cigarette still clinging to that smile.
I pulled into the parking lot less than a block away, parked and ran into the bank, spending all of thirty seconds inside to make a deposit. I jumped in my car and was back on the road in a flash, and as I approached the old building the thought occurred to me that I could, or rather that I should, sit down next to him and talk to him.
But he was already gone, leaving me to wonder a bit longer.