Carlos Herdman stood six feet three inches and covered his sandy blonde hair with a ratty Arizona Diamondbacks cap. He couldn’t remember a day where he didn’t wear a white Hanes t-shirt with blue jeans and boots. By the end of the day, after spending hours walking through rows of beans, not his, the t-shirt, soaked with his daily sweat, developed a slight ethereal shade.
Carlos looked forward to his daily walks home. His compadres offered him rides, and on a rare occasion a passing motorist would offer a lift—mostly vacationers out to do a good deed to assuage their socio-economic guilt. Upon seeing him, after it was too late to rescind their offer, their faces would scrunch, eyes slanting upward, racking their brains for what in their car they might use for a towel. But Carlos always declined gracefully. For his friends, a simple “no thanks.” For the motorists, he made an elaborate gesture of putting out his sweaty hand for a hearty handshake, one often declined. The wind rustling through his shirt, cooling him off after the days labor and the mile and a half walk gave him ample time for reflection and meditation as well as peace and quiet before he returned home to the noise of his family.
One day Carlos Herdman stood six feet six inches and let his dark brown hair blow in the breeze. He wore long-sleeved button up shirts, jeans, and ratty sneakers. Carlos Herdman never knew Carlos Herdman and would never know Carlos Herdman.