Invisible Man

Once he had a family, once he was someone’s little boy
He even went to high school in Carbondale, Illinois
He had a job for years before he lost it and fell through the cracks
If he tries looking for one now, people turn their backs
That’s his home there on the sidewalk, now he gets by as best he can

He talks to people as they walk by, but they don’t listen
He’s just one more invisible man

He used to go out clubbing, now and then he’d even score
But that was in another lifetime, so long before
Before he was evicted, back when he could pay the rent
When he had friends that he could count on,
before he packed it up and went
Headed to the west coast, became best friends with a can


He dreamed of buying a house once,
he dreamed of being someone’s groom
Now he dreams of a hot breakfast and to sleep in a dry room
But he’ll settle for some Food Stamps, he’ll settle for another beer
He’ll settle for a bus pass to somewhere south of here
But for now he’ll sit there on the sidewalk, try to come up with a plan


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“Invisible Man” originally appears on the Bandcamp album, All the News That’s Fit to Sing (2014).

I wrote the song while walking around a posh section of downtown Portland with Reiko one day.  I saw a man panhandling, and being ignored by most of the passersby.  One of many times I’ve witnessed such a scene, of course, but that’s the day I wrote this song, anyway.