the man on couch corner wears his rings well
tightly clamped, he keeps them
around eyes i’ll spare myself from meeting
as we pass
he is the last and first example
of what i may become in your absence
– resolve tucked snuggly in at the corners,
scars where opportunity no longer knocks –
to the dog, this man
with his layers of sweaters and regret
is a king
the prince of yesterday’s garbage
the lord of all delightfully unholy things
again, not unlike you.
The city is a concentration of extremes: the rich with the poor, the sane with the lost, the very best and the very worst of what we are, or what we are capable of. Today I am witness to the clash of opposites… one man who fails to live up to my very smallest, most pessimistic hopes for humanity opposing another who far exceeds any strength or grace I am capable of. It’s difficult to maintain perspective when moments like these occur… each man has his own story, neither of which I know. Each man has led a life that has steeled him for this confrontation, and who am I judge? Who am I to even have an opinion?
It’s sad, though, plainly, to see someone rise above… someone who has faced ugliness so many unmentionable times that it is no longer worth acknowledging it. It’s maturity, it’s grace, it’s the right thing to do, to rise above. But it sucks. It sucks that we have become the sort of jerks who make each other rise above our crap.
I wish we could see each other. We wander around so wrapped in our own egos we don’t bother to connect, to notice, to care. How sad we are becoming.
You will walk past many people today. I hope you look them in the eye.