Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A place to be

I see things differently now.

I drive. Running errands. You in my thoughts. Almost to the exclusion of other thoughts.

I hope for you.

Arrive. Park car, plug meter. I do what needs to be done. I step out of the dimly lit, poorly constructed building and back into the bright sunshine. It's a beautiful day. More time left. Walk.

I pass a woman. Pretty. Thin. Glasses. Short spiky hair. Reddish blonde. Looks air-dried. Clean. Presentable. Clothes are a bit disheveled. I smile at her, and see how she pointedly avoids my gaze. And I wonder.

I wonder.

Does she have a place to be?

I walk on. I see two grocery carts parked by the side of the road, filled with worldly possessions. Cardboard. Bottles and cans. An old, threadbare, dirty brown blanket. Where are your owners? They can't have gone far. You mean too much to them. I look around, and I see two people on a patio. Very nearby. Eating. Young. Clean. Smiling, and enjoying the day. They don't look like your owners. How would I know? And I wonder.

I wonder.

Do they have a place to be?

I return to my car. Still time. Someone pulls up to the meter behind mine, and I ask him to wait and take my meter instead. Save money; use my time. He is grateful. A small gesture. At least I have done something for someone today.

Not you, though. I think of you, and I hope for better days.

Small successes.

I drive away. I stop at a drive-through. I wonder if you use drive-through. It would be practical right now. But do they have drive-through where you are?

I wonder.

I drive home. Home.

I see that the trees are leafing out now. A forsythia in full bloom by the side of the road. The trees must have leafed out for you too. And maybe the woods aren't quite as scary now. Now it's spring. Now heat isn't as much of an issue. But I know. I know. Still scary. I know.

I see things differently now. Because there is you. And I know.

I read. And I think. I think. Long ago. The hardest words I ever had to say. The words. I remember. "I want to come home".


I am lucky. I am fortunate.

For I have a place to be.

A place to be.

I see things differently now.

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