I saw a motherless waif today, sitting on a park bench, watching all the other children playing. His face was dirty and stretched with a long frown. The laughter of the other children seemed to make the frown longer, as dads rode down the slides with their daughters or moms gave an occasional push of the swing to their sons. There weren’t any parents who ever paid any particular attention to this little boy though. Each night he would curl up underneath the swings after everyone had gone, closes his eyes, tucks his little arms inside his shirt to keep warm, and I suppose he dreams of a home with a mom and dad he could play with. I suppose that was all he ever dreams about.
I saw a derelict today, standing on a street corner, haggard and rain soaked with one hand holding up a sign that read, ‘I AM HUNGRY’. His other hand was held out to the cars coming up to the stop sign. Hoping, I suppose, for that feeling of cold change dropping into his palm. But the drivers stopping at the sign didn’t give the homeless man any notice. And then one car pulled up to the sign and the driver got out, handed the homeless man some food and a drink and filled both of his palms with change. And then he hugged the homeless man and left. And the haggard homeless man smiled and continued waving at the cars…
I saw a young mother today, pushing a stroller down the street, stopping at each display the stores had in their windows. She modeled the image of herself, cast in the window, in front of the clothing that was on display. Imagining herself like a queen, I suppose, then shaking her head she would carry on. But when she came to the KidsRUs store she started to cry. Tears erased the smiles and her hand was held over her mouth. She walked to the front of the stroller and lifted out a doll and showed the doll the wonderful things in the window. Then she laid the doll back into the stroller, wiped her face in her sleeve and walked on. And I wondered what pain brought her to that window each and every day.
I saw my therapist today, and I tried to explain to her that I see things in people. I feel things in them through their actions. I know their stories, adventures, sorrows and pains, how they cry out for attention, even though I’ve never spoken to any of them. Everyday I look out from my window in my room and see these lives pass before me and I know these people, I can feel them.