Big S told me at lunch that Ferret was seen walking down to the woods with a grocery cart of his belongings. He "borrowed" the cart from the grocery store's parking lot at the shopping center.
"He had everything," Big S said. "He was asking where you were so you could buy him a tent. He was also drunk as a son of a bitch."
"I can't even afford a chocolate bar these days," I told Big S. "I've had to borrow money from Rosa to cook meals."
I walked on down to the woods beyond the railroad museum. There sat Ferret getting drunk amidst his gear about a hundred yards from the clearing and the tracks.
"It is a beautiful day!" Ferret exclaimed drunkenly.
It was nice. The temperature was in the sixties and it had yet to start raining. Ferret had a tarp tied to four trees to cover his belongings. He was going to get wet though. It is supposed to storm pretty badly tonight.
"The weather is going to get bad," I said. "Go borrow some money from Big S to buy a tent. It will only cost $30 bucks."
"I'm fine," Ferret replied. "I've got some beer. I've got my stuff. I am going to be okay."
Ferret was drunk. Wasted drunk. He was so drunk he no longer cared about his predicament. I quickly left him to go talk to Big S.
"Ferret needs a tent," I told Big S after walking the ten minutes back up to the shopping center.
"Shit, man. I ain't got it," Big S said of the money. He pulled out his pockets to show me.
"Damn," I said.
I left not knowing what else to do. I have no way of taking Ferret to the men's shelter in Columbus, Georgia, and he probably wouldn't go anyway. The police still haven't released my car. I can only hope it doesn't storm too badly and Ferret stays dry under that tarp. What a damn fine mess Ferret has gotten himself into this time. The sad thing is he didn't seem to care. He was only worried about getting drunk. He actually wants to be homeless. I've been there before when I was homeless as well. It is a debilitating condition. Mental Illness and alcoholism are a crazy thing.