To Saul life always seem a bright bauble other people had which he just could not quite reach. Kind, but (and he knew this) slow, and prone to episodes of confusion, he grew up in an era before government assistance. In fact he always tried to stay well the hell away from government minions and their asylums.
Saul was never able to hold down a job. Living rough, as well as the alcohol, the glue sniffing, and the occasional brush with ice, ruined his body. At forty five he felt decades older, worn down thin. Every year the streets felt harder and the nights felt colder, cold enough to kill even in this subtropical city.
One night, just a little while ago, was the worst. In the bleakest hours, under the red moon’s light, Saul honestly thought he wouldn’t be able to drag in his next painful breath. Of course it didn’t help that he’d given his last blanket away earlier to some young runaway. But that was worth it, they’d survive to runaway home, and after all the Tree came to him, the aspect of Roots, and Saul made it past dawn just fine.
Better than fine in fact. When he stood to breath the morning sunshine his mind felt clear – clearer than it had ever been. He still knows he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, and occasionally the visions still visit him, or he sees the beast lurking behind a passerby’s eyes, but he can seperate them from reality now. Saul is in control now. He is the Tree and the confusion has left him. Even his tiredness, the constant illness of starvation and eating food scavanged from bins is getting better. He can look people in the eye and he feels just fine.