Thursday, August 9, 2007

Summer's Heat Bears Down Upon Us

103 degrees was the high today. Good thing Rosa and me walked early this morning. Lunch time found us back down at the shopping center before the storms would hit. On the corner down below us was a rough looking woman. It reminded me of Rosa when I first met her. Rosa was looking the same that day she asked to "borrow" a cigarette and I asked her if she was homeless.

"Who's she?" Rosa asked, nosily.

"I've never seen her before," I replied, concerned.

She looked homeless and almost lost. Like some stray animal that wandered too far from home, she looked sad and forlorn. I noticed she was smoking a cigarette butt she had picked up out of the bushes by the dollar store. I and Rosa walked down to offer her a cigarillo.

"Cigar?" I asked as we approached her.

"Thank you," she said, shaking my hand. I noticed how calloused her hands were as if she he performed lots of manual labor.

"My name is Andrew and this is Rosa," I said, pointing to my girlfriend standing beside me.

We made small talk for awhile with Rosa doing most of the talking. The lady didn't reveal much which was smart. One of the first things I learned when homeless was to never tell anyone. That gave them a license to judge and mistreat you, and people will. We left the lady with her telling us she was walking down to the diner to get out of the heat and drink a coke. "At least she has some money," I thought.

"I've been there too many times," Rosa told me as we walked back up to the benches to sit down.

"Did you see she was smoking cigarette butts off the ground?" I asked Rosa.

"I've done that, too," Rosa said.

I shuddered to think that Rosa was once like that and suffering. I turned to her and said, "As long as I live, you will never be homeless again," and I meant it.

"I will do the same for you," she replied, grabbing my hand.

It was comforting to know us two souls were looking out for each other. I am finding we are so much alike that it is uncanny. Our experiences. Our past lives. It is almost as if we were made from the same cookie cutter, but opposites of gender. I thank my lucky stars for having found her in my life. It gives meaning to each and every day.

6 comments:

simonsays said...

Aww...that is the best. You and Rosa were made for each other. You are both very lucky...

Pen and the Sword said...

I am happy to hear you are coming along with Rosa well. That is very happy news.

A LONG LONG time ago (well, what feels like a long, long time ago) I was at that low point in my life. I wasn't much older than 20. I remember not having money or a job. I did have something of a place to stay, but it was an unhealthy environment. I didn't have any food so I would often go into McDonald's and lift a heaping handful of ketchup packets. I, too, did the scouting the gutters for half-smoked cigarettes. It is not a fun existance.

I am glad to hear Rosa no longer has to go through that anymore.

~Vital~ said...

My eyes filled with joyful tears for you and Rosa. My heart broke reading about the lady you met. Made me want to go up there and save her some how and while there give you and Rosa great big hugs!

Summer said...

I live in an affluent neighborhood. I am not affluent though, just lucky to be able to afford one of the lower end small houses. One day, driving to work, I saw a homeless man walking. It's not something you see here. Ever. My heart broke in two for him. I know, because I've been close to where he is. When I got to work, I told my boss and he knew about him, as it was written up in the local newspaper that the police had found his camp site close by in the woods and forced him out. I wonder where he is now. I wonder if he's ok.

Barb said...

Andrew,
That was the most tender of posts, written by you. I felt all of the emotions that you wrote about. Make a difference in someone's life, and they will remember it always. Pay it forward, and this group of individuals may be on the road to a different life. Wonderful!

Barb~

CRUSTYBEEF said...

very very sweet! The stars are definitely aligned for both you and Rosa!!
always,
Crusty~