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Sleeping Standing Up

December 5, 2011

I saw a guy standing up and sleeping this morning.

The temperature was 18 degrees this morning and a light breeze made it feel a little colder. On my walk to work I passed the lobby of a parking ramp. It’s one of those automated parking ramps which means no one works there. You pull up to the gate and a machine spits out a ticket and then later in the day when you’re ready to leave, you insert your ticket into one of the machines in the lobby and wait for the electronic voice to tell you how much money you owe. Insert cash or a credit card, the transaction is made automatically, you get a receipt in return and it’s up on the elevator and out to your car. To exit the ramp you simply insert your ticket into the automated machine there and you’re on the road. A good system, I guess. Machines don’t call in sick to work, but they do break down from time to time, and while they don’t require health insurance, they do require maintenance contracts. I’m sure someone smarter than me analyzed the costs and determined that the machines were a better investment over people. None of the machines are as cute or endearing as Doctor Who’s faithful companion, K9.

The ramp is open so it’s cold, but the lobby of the ramp is well-heated. Whether that’s to keep the customers who can afford a $25 a day parking fee warm while they pay their bill, or to keep the machines warm, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a little of both.

I walk past this particular parking ramp lobby every morning. This morning there was a man sleeping while standing up next to one of the heaters. He was a young African American man with short hair wearing a lightweight, dark green jacket. His hands were in his jacket pockets and his left hip and shoulder were leaning up against the wall and he was facing out toward the street. Maybe he wasn’t sleeping, I don’t know for certain, but his eyes were closed.

I know I think about things too much. I also have a tendency to overanalyze stuff, and for all I know the guy was waiting for a ride, or he works at the ramp and was on break, or he was simply sloughing off. But there are other reasons he could have been standing there trying to keep warm while he was sleeping standing up and they’re not pleasant to think about.

This is just one person I happened to see in a city of nearly 400,000. What’s going to happen when it gets really cold?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2011 5:31 pm

    If he is still there tomorrow slap a Santa hat on him and he will be a decoration. But, that would mean you would have to actually have to go and buy one, and if he is homeless he would probably prefer the cash.
    And,you notice weird things Mr. Fishman.


  2. Anonymous permalink
    December 7, 2011 9:38 am

    I think it was Too Cold Scorpio


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