I’ve rewritten this entry several times and it’s gone in a different direction each time…
I feel jaded and unappreciative of my life. Yes, I’m away from home and most things familiar. Yes, work can get mind numbingly stressful. Yes, I’m putting on weight again (probably from too many hot chocolates). Yes, I don’t have as much financial stability as I crave. Yes, I’m going through a horrible phase of re-evaluating “friendships” from back home. Yes, I’m internet-less til the end of the month. But really? Really? I have that to complain about? That’s IT?
It’s bitter cold out. It’s the kind of cold that goes through your bones no matter how many layers you’ve got on. The wind creeps into every crevice and pore and your fingers and toes go numb. And for the last week, near the sandwich shop by work, there’s been a man living on the stoop of a storefront that’s under refurbishment. He’s got his cardboard box laid down, and every time I’ve seen him, He’s been wrapped up in a sleeping bag on that cardboard, and he’s been asleep. Or dead. I’m honestly not sure which.
All week I’ve passed him by on the way to and from lunch, looking away, trying not to cry. No one should have to live like that. It’s entirely too cold. Today, I finally couldn’t stand it any longer. I got my lunch and a hot coffee and as I passed him yet again, asleep as ever, I knelt down and left him the coffee. He didn’t wake up. Other people must’ve felt the same as me, as there was also a bottle of water, a pot of yoghurt and a bit of bread in front of him as well.
Sitting here now, I’m thinking about all of the things I routinely complain about–and compared to that man, and so many others in this city–I’m lucky. I have a job. I have a flat. I have a family who care both back home and here. I have a few friends who are the best. I may not have much, but I have too much when you look at others. I can’t help but feel ashamed for having any complaints
I also feel ashamed for the way I ignore homeless people either asking for money or coffee or what-have-you. I’m guilty of either putting on my iPod or putting my phone up to my ear and walking past as if I can’t hear/see them. I feel wretched for it. Back home, I would never have done that. I would have at least had the “stones” to say “no”. Or I would have given them change. Whichever. But here, I do what most of the population seems to do–I shut off and keep walking.
This city makes you hard.