It is a cold night, gloomy and damp amid the musty fragrance of New York City’s dirty streets. Civilians brush past me as I sit huddled and shivering on one of the many dull pavements. Darkness, sadness, and hopelessness erode into my mind. I struggle to stand up, pick up my cracking can that holds the few meager coins that might make my meal tonight, but just as soon I fall back down, too weak to stand. If only I could go back to my home, I think. But then I remember I left my life in the country, with my family, the only people in this world that valued me. As I sit there on the icy cement, my mind strays to what others must think of me. I remember what I first thought of people comparable to me when I came to this city. Bums. Do any people in this place realize I have feelings? That I once was similar to them, walking with hope to a warm apartment after a long day of paying work? No, I’m sure they don’t. I feel a sob come from my throat, maybe from hunger or thirst, but most likely from the hopelessness that lives down deep in the dark caverns of my heart. I close my eyes as a wisp of sharp cold wind wraps around me, disappearing as fast as it came, just like my dreams, I think. I sit there, feeling the warm trickle of tears coming down my face. Wishing it could all end, wishing the guiltiness of leaving a devoted family to live out my dreams could finish. I keep my eyes closed; waiting, wishing that anything, anyone, could help me. I hear a pair of heavy shoes coming my way, I take no heed, as their has been thousands of those today, But as their steady rhythm stop I open my eyes and look up into a pair of kind brown eyes, the kind of eyes that seem to tell everything, all their thoughts, everything. He is holding something out to me. I gratefully reach out, as I cannot see what it is because of the dark fog that comes from the sewers at night. Expecting a coin or something of the sort but instead it is a book, I draw back because I have seen these kind of books before, the people who own them that put their faith in some god they cannot see, but the stranger just puts it in my lap and gives me a warm smile. I haven’t been smiled at for so long that I feel an impulse to open this small book, that such a kind person would want to give to me… but I wait, wait until this stranger walks into the enveloping darkness, and then I feel the strength to get up and wander to a nearby streetlamp’s yellow light, where I read a verse and continue onto another and reach the point where, I want to continue living, even if only to read this book.
August 6, 2012