"You remember what I told you when we first met?"
"Of course I do. You said, 'No one ever comes back.' But I came back, Paul. And I'm going to keep coming around to check on you. We're friends, right?"
"Right."And with that, Paul climbed out of my car and went back to his panhandling post on Center Street.
The hour preceding this final exchange of our visit featured a bumper-to-bumper drive along University Avenue to Wasatch Mental Health where Paul was directed back to South Provo to the Food and Care Coalition, Utah Valley's only resource center for the homeless of this area. Along the way I got to know him much better than I have during the three visits we've shared previously, enough so that I've noted the real possibility of rapid-cycling affective disorder and possible intellectual disability. He's something of a flirt too, although respectful of the fact that I've clearly defined the nature of our friendship and that I'm happily taken.
His father passed in 2003.