Today's blog is about connections. We all have connections, each and every day. Most we just don't notice as it part of our routine. Connections are what keeps us human and alive. I am hoping at the end of this you will write a comment to me about your connection, a special one that touched your life recently. In doing so, we keep those connections and moments alive.
"There's a homeless guy across the street" Gary said, intently staring out the window of the restaurant.
"Where?" I asked,leaning forward to get a better view. I saw him, there, maybe 30 feet from where we were sitting. He was leaning against a building with all of his worldly possessions close at hand, three bulging black plastic trash bags. "It's going to be really cold tonight, and that wind! I'm worried about how he will do!"
We sat at the restaurant watching, eating, chatting while staying warm and cozy in our little safe spot. As I sat there, I occasionally glanced out the window and became less interested in my meal. My mind began wandering, how many homeless people have I seen over the years? Tons! And usually I always walk by and hardly ever do a thing, well maybe sometimes I would give a little money here and there. Why was this guy getting to me tonight?
"Do you think he would like my left-overs?" I asked, not taking my eyes off the man across the street. "It's not much, well, maybe half of my meal".
"I'm sure he would and he can have the rest of my fries too" Gary offered. "though I don't feel comfortable going over there to give it to him." I appreciated his honesty, and I understood it but I felt like I had to go over and talk to this guy. There was a draw there, and I did not know why.
I asked the waitress to pack up my food and asked her, if possible, could she throw in a bit more as I was giving it to the homeless guy across the street. Unfortunately, she told me that they were unable to do such things, against their regulations, to give extra. When she brought the bag to me, I noticed that she did put in some plastic cutlery and a napkin. It would have to suffice.
I threw my jacket on and walked out the front door of the restaurant with my restaurant bag in hand. The wind was intense and I pulled up my collar to help shield my neck from the bite of the icy wind. I quickly glanced up and down the street for passing cars and made my way across.
There he stood, leaning against a wall, just staring at me. "Hi" I said. "Are you hungry?"
His eyes got wide and he continued to stare and then slowly he said "Oh yes I AM!"
I smiled and handed him the bag and commented "I saw you while I was sitting in the restaurant".
"You were watching me? Really?" He looked aghast, as if this was something new and unusual for him.
"Well yes we were, my husband and I and we were concerned about you!" I explained.
He was still staring intently into my eyes with a look of awe. "No one ever notices me, you really were watching me? Thank you so much ma'am for the food, that was very generous of you." He reached up and took off his cap and held out his hand, "By the way, my name is Bruce."
"Bruce, I am very pleased to meet you, I'm Jane" I said reaching out to take his hand. "Oh Bruce, your hand is freezing! How will you stay warm tonight?"
"Don't worry about me" he said smiling "I know how to stay warm. There is a subway nearby and I can warm up near the entrance where I will be shielded from the brunt of the cold."
"I hope so, it is bitter out! That wind is just miserable tonight! You promise me you will stay warm?" I pleaded.
"Indubitably!" he jested with his eyes flashing. "Thank you again, it was more than kind of you and I am still dumbfounded that you would even give me the time of day, no one does and it means a lot."
I grabbed his hand and shook it again. "Take good care of yourself, okay?"
He nodded in agreement. As I walked back across the street to my cozy warm restaurant I shivered and caught a blast of wind that nearly knocked me off of my feet. I began to feel terribly guilty that I had such warm inviting building to to go to. I turned and waved and walked through the door.