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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.
| I am at the loss for words! This was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Well, on the issue itself, in Malaysia, we have pretty much the same situation (I guess, as neighbouring countries, there are some similarities that we share!), the scene's quite common in markets especially. I don't like writings that have a powerful message, but lack in style/language, or otherwise. but here, I think you've cleverly captured the egoistic personality that commonly exists within the modern individual, without forgetting the importance of the chosen words, phrases, etc. anyway, it made me wonder, who is at the greater loss here - the beggar or the persona? Sure, the persona saves a couple of bucks for him/herself, and the beggar might just continue the day in pitiful poverty; but taking a look at the bigger picture, everytime we don't surrender to our conscience, we're losing the humanity within us, bit by bit. I guess that's what makes this piece so good - the beggar's gesture to the persona is almost like a hopeful reminder, crying out loud, "don't forget about your humanity!" Ok, so that wasn't the most poetic way to put it, but you get what I mean.|
they say save the best for the last... you surely did just that in this piece:
"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."
"that mingled with the rain that will fall on us all" - this line will be repeating itself in my head for awhile. What a brilliant way of saying that 'at the end of the day, we're all the same'. I'm adding this to my favourites... will read more from you when I have the time!
|| Posted on 2005-10-28 00:00:00 | by zhi wei | [ Reply to This ] || First let me give you a standing ovation for writing about a real subject and and making us think about how we react to those same people. I live near a big city,so when ever i go to there, I am bombarded by so many of them,half who are truly in need and the others who are cons, which torments me to death because of the deep compassionate nature I have,but at the same time I depise being con more.|
I wrote a poem about this same suject but in a different way. Your prose or short story was well crafted and made me feel as those I was you.
That is alway a great sign of awesome writing.
|| Posted on 2005-06-29 00:00:00 | by edthepoet | [ Reply to This ] || Awww, great work! I wonder why no one had commented on it yet. Out of curiousity, what country are you from? I'm swedish myself.|
Before I get into the ranting praise of this work:
It's called passersby, not passerbys :)
Ok, first of all, it was an easy read. You have a nice rhythm in most of the text and well-picked words. Second, I think you have told the almost as short as possible without losing beauty, and I think that you can take it either way from here. This could easily turn into a three-paged novel if you work on it or it could simply be a fictionary anecdote. I think it'd be better if you made it longer though. Do they start a dialogue after the end? Does she apologize? I'm interested to know.
If I'd pick a color for this piece of work it'd be light blue... Definitely. Don't know if that helps you or anything, but light blue it is. A pretty cold and sterile blue.
It's very inspiring. If I was a bit ruder than I am I'd keep writing on it myself.
Thanks for a very good read! I am adding it to my favorites.
|| Posted on 2005-06-20 00:00:00 | by Cindergarden1 | [ Reply to This ] || Oh wow. This was incredibly powerful, and very humbling. I felt ashamed of myself reading this, and I didn't even do anything. But your work evoked such an emotion in me, I can't explain. And to me, that is the sign of a true poet. This was a brilliant work of art, I'm so glad that I found it. Next time I see someone on the street, I'll think twice. Thank you for the lesson. I'm curious, did this really happen, or is it just a story? |
You should check out Lost Sheep. He writes alot about humanity...very much like this. Thanks again for sharing. Be well
|| Posted on 2005-06-20 00:00:00 | by nebnim | [ Reply to This ] || If I was allowed to write only one word, woud "Excellent!" be enough?|
Very, very thoughtful piece, digging into the conscience of the reader and making one feel a tiny bit uncomfortable, remembering the last time we were guilty of the same.
Thank you, Rachel, and be proud of this, it truly IS Excellent!
|| Posted on 2005-06-20 00:00:00 | by wewak11 | [ Reply to This ] || This is wonderful work! many people are tainted by one concept and one concept only...they only think beggars as rude, annoying and anything that can be no good to society...but reallly, they're just as human as we are...and most never really take things for granted as we do...this was wonderful...|
I was thinking of the same concept you took to express peoples lack of observation around the society w/ "primitive" and it goes along the same line as yours, making the reader feel uncomfortable w/ his/her surroundings then reveal a truth that many of us often miss or just choose to ignore: the truth of ourselves when we counter people who are (most of us think) are not up to our standards...this is a wonderful piece
thanky for the wonderful share.
|| Posted on 2005-06-21 00:00:00 | by idlewriter | [ Reply to This ] || Rachel,|
This was really great. I love works that talk about people and help us know them. Guys like this man usually get overlooked in the day and age and I'm glad you're taking the time to care.
There was one sentence that was a bit less than clear:
"I was shallow, and chose only what I wanted to see as I condemn, as I see"
I think you meant "I was shallow and I chose to see only what I wanted to see." but I think there's more there that I'm missing.
"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."
Very VERY good.
|| Posted on 2005-06-21 00:00:00 | by Lost Sheep | [ Reply to This ] |