Midtown Manhattan, late afternoon: Cars were everywhere. The noise was deafening. The man, sitting by a hydrant, didn’t hear any of it, not the fire sirens, not the people talking as they walked by him. His head was down and his arms almost reached the sidewalk. Plastic bags were all around him. Some bags were red, others grey, another white. The dark green garbage can near the fire hydrant sheltered him. The man was not moving.
The Down Man