My Encounter with a Homeless Man

Why not me? Man, sometimes it’s hard being blessed. It’s just too damn tough.

He’s a carpenter. A bricklayer. I gather he can build a house. And now he’s asking me in Spanish if he can sleep in my gutter. He kisses me. Kisses me on my cheek. And I kiss him back. I don’t know why, but we do. Liquor lightly covers him and I don’t mind. I don’t understand more than one or two words for every four or five sentences he speaks. And he doesn’t disgust me. I see a life behind those eyes. And I wish more than anything I could give him what he needs.

He’s wearing my favorite jacket. That could have been me struggling to keep warm. He’s wearing my empty backpack. That could have been me without an education.

The words of my friend echo in my head: Don’t be afraid to live the life you were blessed with.

I am my brother’s keeper.

If a man died on my doorstep tomorrow I wouldn’t ignore him. If a man lay on my doorstep starving I wouldn’t ignore him. So why is it easy to just let him walk away with $6 and a couple of new things that can’t last the rough month ahead?

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