After the incredibly depressing story last week about Steven Cross, the Lakeville man who split on his son when he couldn't find work, reasonable speculation had it that the desperate man could be headed for a bad end.
In fact, Cross is alive, and was working at a deli in California, where police found him yesterday. Cross was taken into custody without incident, and will now be brought back to Minnesota to face charges and, at least on some level, reconnect with the 11 year old son he left behind.
This story is the stuff of Bruce Springsteen songs.[jump]
Cross, 60, turned up in the town of Cambria, a coastal village known for its artist community, according to the Star Tribune. Though he'd worked as an architect in Minnesota, and grew desperate when he couldn't put those skills to use, Cross had tumbled from making blueprints to making sandwiches.
Still, at least he's still alive. Cross's note to his son, and a subsequent e-mail to an ex-girlfriend, are utterly haunting. In the e-mail to his ex, Cross wrote that he'd escaped to California, but was still struggling:
I sleep on the street. ... Please call (child) and see if he picks up his cell phone at this number please if so send me a message I probably only have a couple of days... No one I called would help me... I didn't know what to do. I am scared and hopelessly depressed but (child) needs to know I did my best to get to (sic) graduate from grade school and I love him.
At least some of the man's fate is on his own hands: The Star Tribune reports that Cross was at least $35,000 in debt, owing money to several different financial outfits in the last few years.
It seems unlikely that Cross's debt, or his abandonment will be foregiven, but anyone who doesn't feel for the man at least a bit is in need of some soul-searching.