Body Language

I was out on the bike trail earlier than usual this morning, just as the sun was topping the mountains that line Albuquerque’s eastern edge. It was cold at my house when I left – 35 F (2 C) – but not bitterly so.

The trail I ride in the neighborhood runs along the edge of a big concrete flood control channel, with underpasses beneath the freeways, and as such it passes a lot of homeless hangouts. I never see their camps – whether its a privacy/dignity thing, or a security thing, I don’t know, but they’re always hidden away. But the trail and the channel are definitely homeless turf.

This morning, because I was out so early, I was around for the homeless rise and shine, and it was a very sad thing. The body language of the permanent homeless is always sad, the way they try to shrink inside themselves into invisibility. But in the cold of dawn, it was worse, shrinking to be invisible, shrinking against the cold.