We met at the Starbucks on the corner of Hollywood & Vine. His hair was long and loosely locked, draping over a scarred leather jacket. Twinkling eyes smiled up to greet me as I took the only seat available near the window. I'd come here often to be entranced by the cinema of people walking by, an occasional celebrity sighting or the Tetris of cars as they jockeyed through a busy intersection. Sometimes I'd listen to music, lectures or read a book. Sometimes I'd watch quietly, letting the scene erupt in silence

Christopher's eyes fell back down to a guitar that had been cradled in his lap. Chatter and espresso making swelled as I nibbled banana nut bread and kissed hot chocolate. People outside poked their phones while walking by or stared ahead purposefully. Waves of commuters would rush by from a nearby train station or sometimes a bubble of tourists would float through, but overall it was calm. This was a day to watch quietly.

"I don't really know much yet," Christopher's voice cut in. I glanced over to find him caressing strings and tickling chrome pegs. He looked up again and smiled, "It still needs tuning." The guitar found its way to him while traveling. For the past year he'd been backpacking down the coast from Seattle, hitching rides along the way and making new friends. His story spilled out and the more he spoke, the more open I felt. His guitar rested by his side and my hot chocolate grew cold as words danced between us. Time bled.

Staff had grown impatient with a homeless man who seemed disoriented. Christopher's attention shifted. He gazed as the man struggled to speak while being pressured outdoors. Suddenly Christopher was out there pleading with him, "What do you need?" No response. He continued, "Are you hungry?" Christopher came back, grabbed something from the display and went outside to present it to the man. Their eyes met. The man took the gift and shuffled away. Christopher watched like a shepherd.

His eyes were sad when he came back. It didn't feel right to ask what happened. "We always forget," he murmured as he studied the scene in front of us. The air clogged before he melted again with a smile, "but we remember." His eyes snapped to me with fierce clarity, "We forget so we can remember."