a voice to the left of us said. “You don’t even see us. We are invisible to you.” I turned my head. The cardboard said – “I need nylon (stockings?).” I noticed a grey beard and I kept walking, my head still turned towards him.
Should I have stopped? Gone back to talk to him? Or any of the others holding cardboard signs?
Half a year ago, I ate dinner with a man. His name was Larry. He asked me for a dollar. I asked if he wanted to eat Chipotle instead. “What kind of food do they have?” Burritos. He ordered a burrito with guacamole and a large Coke. I think he practically put everything in it because – it was a really big burrito. Did he get sick from eating too much?
“Today was a really nice day…tomorrow’s going to be a nice day too.”
“Do you have any children?” No. “That’s good, you should get a career first if you can.”
If you could do anything, what would you do? “You mean as a job?” Anything. “Just be normal, have a normal life and be like everyone else.”
His blue RTD jacket was from a church. “David” printed in curvy letters. “Sometimes I go and pray, but not as much as I think I should. Everything is by God’s grace. I wouldn’t be able to survive without God’s grace, like how I am eating a burrito now.” He ate the burrito with a spoon.
“Some people give me money. They tell me not to buy drugs, but I don’t even drink. Most people say that they only have a card, no cash. They show me their card. Most people are just too busy to stop, they’re always on their way to go somewhere.”
Red in the whites of his eyes, yellow teeth, not aligned, with some missing —
What happens when a person without a home dies on the streets? What happens with the body? Does anyone mourn for them?
He shook my hand. His was very knobby (no muscle, weak bones, some very thin flesh). And he barely grasped mine. I felt like I would have crushed his if I did.
“We are invisible to you.” I should have gone back.