Today I witness something out of the ordinary. A friend of mine came to say hello to me. While we were texting back and forth, a young man that looked as if he has fallen on hard times came up to my friend and started talking to him. My friend went to his car and got some money to give to him. They continued talking, then the man became emotional and my friend tried to console him. At first, my friend touched him on the shoulder to as to provide support and then they hugged. They continued to talk and then they eventually parted ways.
I watched all of this from behind the glass without hearing a word, but as I watched I felt like I was seeing something powerful unfold it brought tears to my eyes. It was one of those moments where you feel peace in knowing that complete strangers can find compassion for one another. It is amazing to me how that man’s demeanor changed after they hugged. At least for a few moments he felt better. After my friend left, he still wanted to help this man. He went home and got a sleeping bag and jacket to give to him, but when he returned he couldn’t find him. I kept a lookout and made a note to show him if he came back, but he didn’t. We hope he went to the homeless shelter not far from here.
It was one of the few times I have watched what happens outside of these windows. Most of the time I try to ignore what’s going on out there so that I don’t notice that I am being watch. I think I will change that behavior the rest of the time I am in here.
After I posted the blog, my friend text messaged these comments to me in regards to meeting the man:
“I was standing there trying to have a real human interaction with you (through a glass wall) via txt. This guy, this human being fighting for his life, is right next to me (almost in my personal space) trying to have a human interaction, and he’s competing with my iPhone.”
“Can’t tell you how many times that same competition for my attention happens on a daily basis (even now, I should be on my way to work.)”
“Erika & Owen are always asking me to come away from my work and to unplug. Makes me sad.”
“Does it take someone being that fucked-up and in of help to get me to unplug?”
“And I wouldn’t even have been there on that corner if it weren’t for your project and the point you are trying to make.”
“I think the reality of our condition is that our biology evolves MUCH slower then our ability to manipulate it (technology.)”