drive-by shootings

a car. a camera. a vision.


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Not much going on this morning as I drove into work.  Fall is in the air with early morning temps in the 50’s.  I love this schtuff!  Crisp air stirs the soul. 

After I pulled into the garage and put my camera away, I took a few minutes to soak up the weather.  As I approached the office, I could see a homeless man shuffling his way towards me on Market Place.  Instinctively, I reached for my camera and realized…DOH…that it was securely packed away.  No worries I thought…maybe next time.

I have seen this man before.  Bearded face.  Weathered skin.  Skinny.  Easily recognized by the way he shuffles his feet.  Sadly…I watched him reach into a trash can in front of my office building — a thriving area full of young professionals.

As I approached, I grabbed a Nature Valley bar from my bag and folded up a dollar to hand to him.  He changed directions for an instant…throwing what appeared to be a napkin on the ground.  I guess whatever he had retrieved from the trash was lacking food.  He stared at it for a moment.  Stepped on it.  Smiled to himself…then continued on his route in my direction. 

I was by him now.  I extended my hand…offering the food/money.  At that instant, all time stopped.  For what seemed like minutes, he gazed at the offering.  No words.  No movement.  Then suddenly, shook his head No, and waved his hand back and forth to decline the offer.  You don’t want it? I asked.  Nothing.  He continued on his way.

As I walked away, I had to look back.  I was surprised to see that he had done the same.  Both he and I both looked perplexed.  I wondered why this man…who truly was in need…said No.  Was it pride?  Was it fear?  Did my offer not register?  The look on his face is still in my mind.  I can’t shake it…


Written by john

August 27, 2008 at 7:56 am

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