The man is in pain. It’s no joke. The pain is all too real. He sits. His seat is a blanket in the middle of a street. Sometimes the seat is in somebody’s house. Things are iffy for him now. Things, events, are not to be trusted. He feels that they have done him enough damage. He doesn’t feel like getting more on top of every other type of damage. What more can he lose? Hasn’t he lost enough already? He sits and he sleeps. Food doesn’t exist for him anymore. Nothing exists except whatever eases, or pretends to ease, the pain.
Posts Tagged ‘man’
“It was a dollar. Can you believe it? They stole a damn dollar from me.” He rubbed his eyes hard with his middle fingers to wake himself up. “How did they do it? His friend asked. “I was asleep and somebody put their hand in my pocket.”
“I am sorry,” someone walking by said.” It shouldn’t have happened.” He waved his hands up in the air. “Do you have a cigarette on you?” “No, I don’t smoke.” The man on the sidewalk shrugged his shoulders and went back to sleep.
The legs were spread out. Half the body took up the other 2 seats. The body was covered with a thick blanket; the happy colors–red, pink and green in the shape of a palm tree were those of a beach blanket. People got on the subway, looked at the body. At one of the stops, the head came out of hiding and read the name of the subway station. The man with the dark eyes and moustache wrapped himself again.
Midtown Manhattan, late afternoon: Cars were everywhere. The noise was deafening. The man, sitting by a hydrant, didn’t hear any of it, not the fire sirens, not the people talking as they walked by him. His head was down and his arms almost reached the sidewalk. Plastic bags were all around him. Some bags were red, others grey, another white. The dark green garbage can near the fire hydrant sheltered him. The man was not moving.
I know it well. The strong, lean body. I know it when it holds me, when it shelters me after a hard day. I know the comfort I get when I see it, when I see him. It is more than priceless. The feeling of always being able to count on him is unmistakably tender and warm.
Monday, July 14, 2008: I woke up with astart. Someone wastalking to me, saying something about a metro card that I could have. Something made me suspect and I looked in my purse. No wallet. I chased the man down Park Avenue, from the Steps of St. Bart’s church to Lexington. Police, Police, I yelled at the top of my lungs. The man walked down the flight of stairs to the subway. Then I saw my wallet–brown, imitiation leather, face down. It was open. Most of the money was there,all except $21.