Even though it was a Sunday, normally the busiest day for the little street mall in the outskirts of Denver, it was also overcast, causing most of the people who might come to windowshop or wander the street to stay home. The threat of rain was simply too great. But that did not mean that the street was deserted. There were always those who would come, rain or shine, to wander the street and enter the little shops that lined the mall, to sit below the trees which on bright days created some of the only cool patches in the concrete canyon, or watch the muted glow of the fountains in the half-light of noon. Then there were those who had to be there, who tended to the shops or relied upon the crowds to make a few extra cents on the off days. Those people were the one who filled the air with the extra stimuli that no street mall was complete without. The smell of the bakery, or the rich, spicy scents of Mexican food. A floating note from a street musician who sat under one of the trees, holding his guitar like a lover, and keeping his eyes closed, unwilling to look at the empty hat that sat before him. Then there were those who simply had nowhere else to go. Some of them lined the walk as beggars, cardboard signs covered in black ink, huddled in tattered jackets or sitting on worn blankets. Like the musician, they waited for the generosity of strangers to find their evening meal. But not everyone who had nowhere else to go was a beggar, looking for small handouts from those who visited the mall. There was one man who sat on the edge of a flower bed, looking at the sky with a blissful smile on his face. He had become a regular sight to those who had to be there, but, unlike the beggars who were easy to ignore and quickly faded to the back of their minds, somehow they found it impossible to start ignoring this man. Some had tried to offer him money, hoping that this might alleviate whatever strange guilt it was that kept drawing their attention back to him. He would only shake his head, patting their hands gently and smiling like a grandfather. Sometimes he acted like a child, dancing among the jets that spurted water up into the air with those who really were children. Sometimes he acted like a scholar, sitting with someone he didn’t know, and intimately discussing the realities of nature. But all knew he was insane. After all, the man, they never had gotten his name, talked of gods. Of gods that no one had ever heard of, and everyone knew did not exist. He discussed them honestly and willingly, even with the most skeptic or rude passerby. He bore insults and critiques with the same blissful smile he wore now. And, when there was no one to talk to, the man talked to himself. It was almost like he was a participant in a many-sided conversation, one that only his side could be heard. There had been times when they had called the police on him, more in an attempt to get him safely to a mental institution than because he really bothered anyone, but whenever the cops drew near he vanished mysteriously, without a trace. By now, those who had tried to help in that way had learned to stop.