Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Face

I finally decided to blog this evening. I've struggled on what to write exactly.....trying to keep my post short -yet interesting. As most of you know I have been experiencing a block. I find a quiet moment in my home. Grand Central Station is rarely quiet and calm. but even then my mind goes blank. Except for this one thing that continues to flow through my mind.
But, do I write about it? Shouldn't I keep writing about my journey? Shouldn't I keep my blog post following my every move......after all that is how this So I begin- began.

We have been spoiled by the warm weather over the past few weeks. But one chilly afternoon I ran to Wal-Mart for a few items. I was alone. Which that itself is unusual, perhaps I should carry my journal with me for those quiet moments! I'm waiting 2 cars back at the traffic light. One must be alert because when the light turns green here in the metro area it's like the Indianapolis 500....people race to get to the next traffic light and if you are not will get blown over by a Lexus SUV or a Mercede's sedan. Which isn't hard for my "hippy mom's" Subaru Forester. That afternoon I didn't worry about the Lexus running me over to get to Route 28. I couldn't take my eyes off of the man who stood on the concrete island at the traffic light. His face looked tired and his clothes were soiled. He was wearing appropriate clothing for this chilly Tuesday afternoon. His recycled cardboard sign said: "HOMELESS". That was it. No "WILL WORK FOR FOOD" or "NEEDS A JOB".

I've seen faces like this over and over, a dozen times over when I worked as a case worker in the city's homeless shelter. I've watched people come and go with all kinds of "Reason #1's"
This man shouldn't affect me like I've never seen a homeless person before. After all, my most memorable client, "Ginny" the 80 year old street rat placed me in the case workers "Hall of Fame"! Joking of course....but Ginny certainly made each day either a disaster or a delight.

So why am I unable to erase this mans face away from my memory. The man who pulled up beside me on Route 7 in his sporty little BMW looked like the homeless man. The young man who bagged my groceries at Wegmans had his face! Even one night as I'm trying to watch the weather channel there he was reporting DC's forecast for the weekend!
Football Superstar listens with compassion. But he can't erase the face from my mind.

You may be wondering why I'm writing about my attempt to forget a man's face that I never met. You may be wondering why it is affecting me like it is. If you figure it me because I would love to know!
All I can say is as we drive each day to our destination(s), we are absorbed. With what to order at Starbucks. We are driven my earning more money. We are obsessed with reality shows and or entertainers who are behaving badly. At work all I hear about is the Republican party candidates. Sorry...but it's like "Who's Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs". I'm just as guilty of placing "something" in the center of my day. Chocolate comes to mind. My Subaru will blow over the Lexus for that very reason.

Was he someones father?
Was he someones husband? Or Is he?
Is he ill (mentally/physically)?
He's alone.
He's someones son.

I didn't want to think he did something such as a crime.

I've tried to place issues aside just so I can raise my children, be a wife, go to work without having some sort of "current event" tripping me. I'm always trying to get to the bottom of something. Why can't I "save" or fix it.
Subjects such as racism, teen pregnancy, suicide, child abuse, animal abuse and homelessness have been on my "To Do" list for many many years.

These past few days I've been able to do just that. I placed those topics aside. I may hear or witness a gripping story. I may be saddened by the fire that destroyed a home in DC. But with all this I still can't erase that face......the face that didn't look angry or sad. Even though he looked tired he did not appear to be anxious. He almost looked- peaceful.
Someone mentioned to me perhaps he was testing his fellow NoVa's to see who would stop.
I don't know...... Maybe I'm not to know. Maybe I'm to do.


1 comment:

  1. Keep writing Lisa, this is part of your story because it weighs on your heart. And you remind me to to take a deeper look at the people I come into contact with everyday at work. Keep writing what's on your heart - we need to hear it.