The Paceco bum
I had lunch (the usual last-night's pasta leftovers) in a sunny little plaza in the town of Paceco today, just south of the city of Trapani. I had the plaza all to myself — except, that is, for a funny-looking old geyser who was occupying the bench adjacent to mine. He sure looked like a poor homeless bum: he hadn't showered since before John Lennon died; he had a beard that seemed larger and less threatened than the Amazon jungle; and he was accompanied by the obligatory garbage bags full of god-knows-what. But when I offered him an apple, he declined, indicating that he'd already had lunch for the day. Maybe he wasn't a bum after all?
I guess it's possible that the guy wasn't as dirty as he looked, and that he was actually a comfortable local (with an aversion to shaving — which I can personally understand), with a house and a family nearby. If so, then I hope I didn't offend him by offering him an apple. I felt sorry for him, looking washed-up and ragged and funny; but maybe he felt sorry for me, wandering around Sicily alone on a bicycle, half my life strapped precariously behind the back seat, and quite possibly a lot smellier than he was? Anyway, just an honest misunderstanding.