"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Breakfast On My Mind



is it a man, a woman? filthy pajama bottoms. the cement must be cold. hard. i shouldn't look. and yet a person sits disheveled here in a public place. a cigarette for breakfast? it's 7:30 am. a cigarette for 7:30 am...and barely a layer of flannel on which to sit. I will buy a coffee. a bagel. what kind of bagel? possibly allergic to nuts. hates raisins? doesn't do cheese. fuck. *sigh*. "Plain bagel please"...."and a coffee." cream? will creamer be wanted? sugar? certainly it would be uncomfortable to be so disheveled and standing at the condiment bar. i have to provide these accouterments to coffee. what if the only cream is in a pitcher? do I go out there and say 'how would you like your coffee'? it doesn't feel right. thank goodness, there are packets of creamer, packets of sugar. four of each should cover it. a stir stick. a napkin. plain bagel in a plain bag. it's going to look like i didn't give a shit. *sigh*. do i put the coffee on the ground? do i say something? how do i make this less demeaning? it is a he. the bruise beneath his eye screams for attention. he is reaching for the coffee i hand him. his hands are filthy. i feel stupid in my dress and high heels. he says nothing for a time. i guess i will just put the bag beside him. i hear 'thank you', but my tongue is swallowed. i think i say "happy breakfast." really? happy breakfast? i ignored his eyes. i missed his name. i lost his story. i am close to tears because i can never seem to get this right. i imagine myself casual, yet confident.

I say "Hey! Good morning. Can I join you for breakfast?" I sit cross legged on the cold hard cement and my eyes form a tunnel toward his reality. I touch his hand. I ask his name. I hear his story. "Do you feel invisible?" I ask. "Not anymore" he says.

18 comments:

  1. i can bet you had a good time :-)....some time with true human attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful Annie: the writing, the intention, the act.

    I have to thank my work for the familiarity I now have in knowing how to say something , say nothing when my eyes find another's. The pain and despair and misfortune I see pretty regularly can be transformed through the intention, the act. We travel our paths for a reason. The one thing I want to shout to you is not to let your act of kindness and humanity be diminished by your own insecurity. Just don't.

    LOVE
    kj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your "pushy". Don't fear to use it here. I value your words and your friendship. Yes, I suppose the more we do the actions, the easier they become.

      I just won't :) ((hugs))

      Delete
  3. You are an angel on earth, my Annie. I know God will bless you abundantly for your kind & giving heart. Love you, my BFF!! xo

    Luke 6:38 - "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your lap. For with the same measure that you measure it shall be measured to you again."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hardly an angel my Marion, but trying to be aware of more than just myself. I love that verse. Which translation? It sounds new and fresh. Thank you. Love you too dear heart.

      Delete
  4. dang, Ms. Quiet,,:):)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two smiley faces...like a two thumbs up. I hope all is well with you and the Boss.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful! There for a while a man was living in his car parked at the back of Walmarts parking lot. His car was full to the ceiling with stuff. I could not imagine having to live this way and the poor mans tire was going flat. I told myself if he was still there the following week I was going to buy him a tire but he was gone.

    We should all take time to notice these people and listen to their stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know why I'm afraid to ask. It feels intrusive, and yet they have seated themselves in a public place in a busy walkway, and so you could assume that they wish for contact and some empathy and help. I should go with my gut more. I am too self preserving perhaps.

      Delete
  6. i can be pushy, can't i?

    but i love it when i'm dogmatic....

    ReplyDelete
  7. My uncle was one of these guys. He lost it when I was a kid and skedaddled off this planet Earth. He is my dad's little brother, and my cousins and everyone else thought he was dead, or at least permanently lost.

    Then he calls his son, my cousin. He said he didn't like the way people always stared at him, like he was crazy.

    Which he was, of course, and is, a complete schizophrenic with voices and all that fun stuff. He's in a home, now, safe and happy, but so much of his story was wasted on the sidewalk like that.


    - Eric

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the sidewalk could talk....eh? I wonder how long before all that "fun stuff" catches up with me. Sometimes my mind is a scary place. Makes you wonder. I'm glad your uncle has found a safe place.

      Delete
  8. You will be blessed for that!

    ReplyDelete
  9. It’s been a while since I’ve been exposed to who you shared breakfast with. Or maybe I’ve let them be invisible the last few years in places we might have shared.
    I remember when young, working in a larger city, sending a few lunches like this, sharing a park bench.
    Who knows the future, where we’ll end up. Maybe someday I’ll be waiting for someone like you to share breakfast with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really can't know how close we are to desolate. I suppose it is one of the reasons we should show care and compassion. "There, but for the grace of God, go I".

      Delete
  10. the coffee wasn't much. the connection was truly divine. i don't think i've ever done anything like that. finding humanity in the filth leads somewhere worth going. what a story, scene.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Someone had a lucky day,
    and the question is which,
    maybe both. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Never be afraid to reach out it rarely turns into a bad thing

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for listening.