My dad used to have a friend named Charlie.
I don't remember his last name, but he was always "just" Charlie.
Charlie looked like a character off of Charlie Brown. I never knew if Charlie had a home which I was able to surmise because he never had a car.
No car. No home?
A five year old logic.
And five is the youngest age I remember Charlie and the last time I saw him I was probably 13.
Charlie was a wondering man and I can't really tell you why, but I can explain why I thought so.
Charlie walked every where and he worked at Rainbow Food in Columbus. He was quite and kind, a simple man with few words. My dad worked out of town when I was five and I remember a tornado came through town. My mom had us in a safe place, waiting for the storm to pass. Through the wind and rain we heard a knock at the door.
Mama was scared to open it, being alone, but thought maybe it was a neighbor checking on us.
It was Charlie. Charlie with no car walked to our house to check on us. So you see, Charlie was also a strange man. When I say he checked on us, I mean that he walked to our home coming from who knows where in tornado weather.
Oh that Charlie.
And he was there for awkward stages in my life.
I was eight years old, playing in my room, stuffing my pink and purple leotard with socks for fake nanners when I heard a knock at the door. Without thinking, I ran out of my room, sock nanners and all, screaming "It's Charlie, I'll get it!"
I opened the door and received an awkward smile from Charlie and giggles from my parents. I'll always remember this because they snapped a picture for future embarrassment.
I never really knew how my dad became friends with him, if he had a home, or what he did with his life.
That Charlie was a strange man.