old man

I saw an old man just now working a menial job, an old man way past retirement age, and I felt deeply unhappy. I felt for him, as they say, whatever that really means.

I gave him almost all the money I had on me, even though it wasn’t much, even though it was food money, I guess because the right thing to do is very often the stupid one as well.

It didn’t help that when he took the money, after he realized that it was for him and he wasn’t expected to do anything, looked at me. His eyes were clear and shone just like, well, I guess like a kid’s. Like I was doing something better than the decent human thing.

It didn’t make me feel better that he was so happy, it made me feel worse.

Maybe it doesn’t ever have to make sense because it doesn’t matter. All I know is I feel raw and ten kinds of miserable and when that happens I leave it here and not in my journal.


10 thoughts on “old man

  1. Now I am depressed. You did a nice thing, which is normally happy-inducing. I am glad you did, don’t get me wrong. But the situation is a sad one. Bah.

  2. I love this story for its humanity … and the way you wrote it.
    Thank you,

  3. Think of the chain you started. If he takes what you did and does something nice for someone else, you could have made countless lives just a little brighter this week.

    I feel the same kind of pain when this happens. Thanks for saying it out loud.

    – allie

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