By Arthur Delaney
WASHINGTON — For roughly 20 years, Mark Thompson lived alone in the woods, drifting between Maryland and Washington, D.C. He scraped by through odd jobs painting or landscaping, and also stealing. He drank and did drugs, and cycled in and out of jail.
“I hated the fact that I woke up every morning,” he said. “Another day of hell.”
He recalled once waking under a tree, covered in bird poop. As he rose, his bottle of Seagram’s gin tumbled to the ground. “As I bent over to pick it up, I saw my face in the liquor and I said, ‘Wow, who is that?’ I had hair coming out of my nose, I had a beard and a mustache. I looked a mess.”