A Short Divide

It’s coming to that time of the year where I peer into lobbies and storefronts for Christmas decorations on my walk to the office. These are the companies with money and they spare no expense with the decor. What makes it so striking is inside you’re in fairyland, or more precisely, Santa’s attic with his elves, gawking at 10-foot trees dripping in gold and sparkles, with beautifully wrapped red and gold presents amidst the poinsettias, and soft holiday music in the background. I know because I go in and take pictures.  But outside on the dirty sidewalk you’re stepping over sleeping bodies of the homeless. The contrast takes my breath away. I wonder how many see it as they rush to their buildings clutching their peppermint mochas and early morning podcasts stuck to their ears.

I’ve noticed a woman who scoops up one of these homeless men. He sits on the street with a teddy bear. He has long grey, bushy hair and is usually reading a book. She takes him to the corner store and lets him pull down whatever he wants from the shelves. It’s usually chips, candies, coffee. I don’t know how often she does it, but she’s my hero. I know this because I’m in the same store. May her tribe increase.

I’m thinking of ways to help these people too, especially when the temperatures drop and the streets thin out because people are on vacation for the holidays.

Calvin says, “I have an idea. Send out a brigade of volunteers with their therapy dogs to give hugs and kisses. That would be a gift.”

 

 

 

Not Quite

Teddie tried not to be noticed, but he was the odd bear in the box. The rest of his siblings were white. A little boy yanked him out, inspected him, threw him on the floor and ran away. That’s when I saw Mama psycho-consumer speed by on the way to the beef jerky with her cart. Teddie saw her, too, scrambled to his feet, and hurled himself into the box like a high jumper in the Olympics. He made it just in time before he became road kill and sample meat for the food demonstrators across the aisle. His siblings were no help. He wanted to bury himself deep in the box and recuperate from his harrowing experience, but they didn’t even twitch a paw. They needed their space, they said.

Calvin says, “I would have squirmed and wiggled down to the bottom of the box and tossed a few of the white boys overboard.”