Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The old man

He was old. The kind of old that squishes up your face with wrinkles that tell a million stories of a long and difficult life. He was crippled, limping along with a crutch to help him, up the long hill to the hospital where he’d sit all day, waitingwaitingwaiting for somebody to see him.

We stopped in our big-comfy-car-with-just-two-people-in-it, he struggled to get in, his one leg stiff and sore. Close up, he was even more wrinkly, his face filled with stories I’d love to have time to hear. We glided up the hill, dropping him at the entrance. He quietly thanked us, unnecessarily, as we helped him out, asking for his little plastic bag which he’d left on the seat. Inside: some dry bread, to keep hunger at bay on the plastic chairs while he sits waitingwaitingwaiting.

And again my throat constricts at the great divide as I try to swallow my priviledged tears and try to think of how to make it better.

5 comments:

Mud in the City said...

People can learn a lot from a spot of quiet dignity. Don't feel guilty - you were the ones who stopped, so many wouldn't.

Miranda said...

Ah sweetie, you are already making it better. Just stopping to pick him up may not change the world but if we ALL did that sort of thing.... well, it would. You've done your bit, now lets all do ours! xxx

Angela said...

I think this is the main thing we all long for - to be seen by somebody. And no matter how wrinkled we are, we feel so much better when someone does. But when you look around you in a crowded street, who actually has an eye for the next person?
You are a very nice one, Shiny, you are!
And don`t end in a puddle. Get yourself a butler with striped pants.

Red Dirt Lattes said...

i just found this blog. wonderful. i love your stories!

allie. said...

Oh yes!
I know just what you mean . . .