Geoff had greeted me with what he usually says as I waited for the light to change. The morning was crisp, and I could feel the wind blowing through my thin shirt making me shiver. I hadn’t known much about him besides he had lived in Phoenix for some time. He told me about how he lived in Nebraska before coming here; he also told me about how his wife had left him. For where he was at and what had happened he seemed to be a very happy man.
“Hey Geoff, how’s it going?” I asked with cheerfulness in my voice as I went to shake his hand.
This was a normal and casual thing to happen as I often saw him when going and coming back to my friend’s house who lived off of 35th and Glendale. I would occasionally give him some money or food if I had any leftover, and one time an old jacket that was laying around and no one was using.
“You’re up rather early don’t you say?” he questioned.
“Eh kind of, but I wanna get home early because I have stuff to do,” I said rather nonchalantly,
“Ahh I see but 7 A.M. is too early for a Saturday,” He said playfully.
“Yeah I couldn’t agree more,” I said starting to realize the time and how little sleep I got. The light changed and we said our brief goodbyes before I started home again. I kept debating in my mind how I should help him and what I should do. I considered him as a friend but my family thought of the homeless as lazy while I was starting to see different. There was hardly a difference between me and Geoff. We both did well in school. We both had the same interests. We both excelled in the same areas and had our hardships in other ones. But he made a couple of wrong choices, and he ended up begging. It made me realize how every choice can shape and determine my future and made me consider things more. Later that day, I came by to talk to Geoff and to get to know him better so I could understand what had happened. We had gone to a McDonalds to eat.
“So tell me more about yourself Geoff,” I asked while waiting for him to finish taking a drink.
“Well I was born Nebraska,” he had said proudly. “I had some difficulties growing up but I fought hard and won my battles, lost a lot of them as well. I wasn’t the smartest kid though, I would often try to fight other kids because they may or may not have mumbled something. As a kid I reckon I was about as smart as a bowl a fish” he laughed.
Geoff began telling me all about his life growing up in Nebraska and how hard it was to become acclimate to Phoenix life and weather. He said Phoenix was louder and a lot more rude which I can’t help but agree with because I used to live in a small town in Michigan for a long while. He said he met his wife in his Algebra class in high school. He went quite and looked off in the distance when he talked about the divorce. There was a melancholy air surrounding where we were sitting so, I went to quickly crack a joke in an attempt to cheer him.
“So New Zealand is completely fake right?” I said as I desperately tried to save the conversation.
“Huh? Oh yeah it is, and the world is flat I suppose,” He chuckled.
“Yeah but Mars is round because we’ve seen it from space.” We continued making jokes like that for at least 15 minutes before we decided to head out and go on our separate way again with a skip in my step now that I knew more about him. I said “see you later,” as I began down the street and he said the same back. That interaction made me think even more. Now that I know more about him I can relate to him more. As I said, I now consider my actions more carefully and think about how everything will affect me and everyone around me. It helped me realize that every decision I make is so much more impactful than I had thought before. Every decision and every choice has a incredible amount of weight behind it and need much more consideration than I had originally given everything