Since I moved to Brunswick, there’s been a homeless man who is pretty much a fixture of my street. You always see him sitting on a particular bench. He says hello, people stop and chat with him, sometimes (but not always) he asks for money.

On my way home last (after a couple of drinks), I thought, rather than just give this guy a couple of dollars, next time I see him I’m going to tell him my name and ask his. (For an introvert, that’s a big step.)

When I arrived at his bench, there was a little shrine: a couple of bunches of flowers, a cardboard love heart with “Robert’s seat” written on it stapled to the bench, and a card making it clear that he had died. I don’t know how he died. But I know his name now. Rest in peace, Robert.