Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mystery man revealed (even more)

OK, so all the time I see this guy walking along the PI Turnpike, and I wonder, "What's his story?"

Apparently, a lot of other people wonder about him, too.

So the other day, I finally parked at the airport and tackled him by the side of the road. Well, I mean I didn't physically tackle him - it was more of a verbal attack.

"What's your story?" I demanded to know, and he obliged me. You may even have seen me out there, talking to him by the side of the road. Triple-D did, and she demanded to know why I was talking to "the tan guy."

His name is Tom, aka "the guy in the red shorts," or, as I just said, "the tan guy." He was born in Salem, but he grew up in Newburyport.

He lives on Bromfield Court, and he is diabetic. He has limited vision, so he cannot drive or ride his bike.

So he walks to the beach nearly every day, even in the winter. That's 2 miles to the Newbury town beach and another half-mile to the Point. He gets back home around 4 p.m., just in time to take his insulin before supper, he said.

A lot of people seem to be concerned about the tan, but he said he wears plenty of sun screen. In his bag he carries a sandwich, some fruit, and water. Hooked to his shorts is his Walkman, on which he listens to talk radio.

"I'm in a daydream walking along," he told me, so don't bother honking and waving because he may not notice, and he definitely can't see who you are. "It's just a blur."

He also walks to Shaw's and Market Basket.
Mostly, he said, he hates it when people stop when he's trying to cross the street because he can't tell if they're stopping for him, or what. He's had some near misses.

It's better if he just waits to cross when he can tell for himself there are no cars coming (he can see the blurs approaching).

And, oh yeah, he doesn't wear his shirt because he gets too hot and the shirt gets all sweaty.


mary said...

You are brilliant. Seriously - a born reporter. I love it!

Bubba Z said...

Glad to hear that "shirtless walking man" is named Tom.

Gillian Swart said...

Thanks Mary and Bubba Z.

Anonymous said...

You better hope H.H. doesn't find out you've been talking to another man! A fight might break out at the Starboard Galley!

Gillian Swart said...

I find your comment intriguing, anonymous.

btw, my cat could take H.H. down.

Anonymous said...

yup, and move faster, too.

Gillian Swart said...

Now I'm trying to figure out who knows about both H.H./me and the Starboard Galley connection ...

Michelle said...

I see this guy all the time and have always wondered what his deal was. Thanks, roving reporter.