Monday, March 03, 2008

Oh! The humanity!

It's a beautiful spring day in lovely ATL, which of course means that tomorrow it's guaranteed to be anything else. But I digress. Today was beautiful, and I went outside and did the carpe diem thing. By carpe diem, of course, I mean that I ran all the errands that I should have run on Friday. I guess you could call it seizing the day if you get stuff done. I'm all about getting stuff done.

So, among the day's activities was a trip to the bank. Always a trip to the bank. How come the people in Star Trek never have to use money? Are they socialists? Is the only hope for capitalism to be found among the Ferengi?

I digress again.

I am standing in line at the bank, doing the usual--avoiding eye contact with people so I don't have to make pleasant small talk. We were all rather compliant--facing the tellers like we were standing in an elevator.

The woman in front of me asked me for the time, and in the moment that I changed perspective, I caught sight of, of all people, MENACE!

If you don't know who Menace is, he's a homeless guy that is a menace on the streets. He rides a bike and carries around a lot of bags filled with....I don't know. Cans for recycling?

For years I've been sitting on the fence about him, alternately agitated by his presence on the roads (our fair burg has no sidewalks)and the compassionate desire to respect him on the road. Generally, I do a lot of the former, and little of the latter. The thing is, that most of his weirdest behavior is during twilight hours, or long after dark, when we take a turn and BAMMM, there he is in all his baggy glory.

I don't want to hit him, but he's not helping me, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, here I am in the bank line, with Menace a couple of people in front of me, and I am fascinated. Fascinated! I could reach out and touch him, but I don't. Instead, I just look at him surreptitiously. At one point, he turns around and makes eye-contact with me. Yes, indeed. He has big brown eyes. Honest. Human. I gotta say here, I feel like a heel.

And then, we leave at the same time. He held the door for me once, and then raced ahead a little to open it again.

Believe me when I say that my thank you's were the sincerest ever.

1 comment:

Luis said...

Fantastic story!