As I type this I’m holding back tears, but not well enough, my eyes are filled with water waiting to pour out. I wonder how many people have noticed.
I’m sitting in Coffee #1 Portswood. The blue flashing lights caught my attention while I was staring out the window gathering thoughts on my Couchsurfing piece. It was a homeless man on the bench, I’m not quite sure what happened, only what I can assume about a man in his position that had medical attention called to him on the sidewalk.
Another man opens the green glass door and comes through. He’s walking funny. I notice limps a lot now, or anything that makes someone walk in a less “normal” way. Josie’s converse was creased in the back because she walks on the inside of her feet.
I looked up over my laptop screen. He sat at the table in front of the one I occupied and was struggling to open his wallet. This is when I realized, he had a condition, whatever it was, that lead him to have little ability over his hands. He slowly opened each flap, removing an English note and a loyalty card. The barista knew to come over and took his order before returning behind me to the counter. Once his food arrived I couldn’t help but stare, which didn’t help with the watery eyes situation. She hadn’t put his plate close enough to him, so he bent over on the table as far as he could just to grab some of the English lunch he had requested. As he brought a crisp to his mouth, he needed his second hand to hold the other steady in order to properly deliver the food-something assumedly quite normal for him.
I had probably seen countless moments like this growing up, all around me while studying and working throughout the states, and even in my travels. So what was it about this one that finally made me realize the true magnitude of situations like this for people on earth?
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to answer that, but I’m glad it happened.
I’m privileged, and I want to help other people who aren’t, because I had no idea how truly lucky I am to have the life I do, the health I do, and the support system behind me that I do.
I’d like to thank my parents, their parents, and theirs. Because of these people, I am who I am today, I have what I have today, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to see how rare that really is. I should also apologize for not seeing it sooner, as my parents had tried to open me up to it many many times in my childhood but I just wasn’t able to fully grasp the concept.
But hell, maybe I’m just really emotional today.