And there he was again, stationed in his chair with wheels. Before a practised look of pathos could be thrown in my direction, I turned away. The thankless heart selfishly holds back sympathy for a phenomenon commonly seen and cited everyday. My patronizing eyes settle upon the outreached palms stragetically positioned in a begging gesture; the packets of tissues sold at outrageous prices; and the scruffy look of a liability to society.
I was shallow, and chose only what I wanted to see as I condemn, as I see.
Knowingly, I missed out on the earnest look in his soulful eyes; his unfaltering spirit; the pride played down by circumstances and the stigma he was subjected to.
The accidental rain pelted down on us and we quickly moved away to stand side by side on the covered walkway, separated by perceived normality. Is that how it is like, passerby blur into a nature indefinable?
I noticed his gaze on me. A trifle annoyed, I turned to meet the sight of his smiling face, a packet tissue in his hand.
"No, I will not buy the packet of tissue. And no, I will not spare a little change," I was rude, but I didn't care. After all, what respect does he command by shamelessly jumping at every opportunity to solicit business out of someone else's pity?
His smile did not pale.
With a slurred speech, he replied, "No, Miss, I see that you are wet from the rain, thought you would like to have something to wipe yourself with before you catch a cold. No charge."
For the lack of a better word, I silently accepted the packet of tissue as my arrogance was silently cast aside as well.
He bestowed me with a final grin and looked elsewhere. And that was when I saw him for the very first time, with a gaze fixated at a distant future, that mingled with the rain that will fall on us all.