When I was a little kid I used to take the train with her to work every day. When we got off the train we would walk through busy the busy gray city, weaving through the busy crowds until we got to work.
I don’t know why that day was different than any other, but all these years later I still remember that moment so clearly. Thousands of people must have been followed our exact footsteps any given day.
But there was one person there that day, that wasn’t consumed by the rush. One person whose hurried footfalls didn’t add to the hum of traffic. He was sitting on the side walk. He kind of blended in, he had the same smudged tone as the buildings and the side walk and he was unmoving.
A point of stillness in the sea of the constantly moving city. He had fluffy beautiful orange cats sitting with him. I remember noticing that his cats were so clean and well taken care of, while he looked like no one had taken care of him in a while. I don’t know if I knew what homelessness was, or that this is what it looked like, but he stopped me in my tracks.
I don’t know what went through my mind, but I begged my mom to let me put the couple bucks I had gotten for my birthday in his cup. I remember looking over my shoulder as my mom pulled me away, running late to work as usual. It makes me laugh now. Life really does come full circle.
I grew to hate the fact that people were fine just walking by. They were fine just pretending that the person standing right next to them on the sidewalk wasn’t there. They thought they were better than them. You aren’t better than them. Little did I know I’d become one of “them”, but before that happened I would fall in love with one of “them”.