Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Snorer

For months he slept along the fringes of the play field. There was no hiding him. He snored like a freight train. 

There is no doubt that the only reason he was homeless was because the neighbors in his apartment building complained about the sound of furniture moving in the night, the sound of double dump trucks filled with gravel, down-shifting, the sound of a thousand grizzlies chasing through the underbrush.

He was told to leave.

So he took up residence in the garden of the community center in my neighborhood. I would leave the house, thinking “My lord, what is that noise?” The distant roar of Interstate 5 is pitched at one level. This rumble is deeper, more resonant, the bay leaf in the soup of noise that makes up the Central District.

As I walk the mile to Garfield High, the sound billows forth more definitely, until the source is identified. There, along one wall of the community center, a form on the ground is heaving forth great waves of basso profundo, with the occasional snicker-snak.

Through the weeks, he moved around. On different days he was pointed different directions. Like the airplanes coming into SeaTac, following different routes on different days, the noise is redirected, and the neighborhood complaining is kept to a minimum.

But now he’s gone. I imagine The Snorer in some sort of government program, bringing down strongholds, subtle torturer, testing new recruits.

It’s a gift.