I thought of many jokes in a fraction of a second, and then got smacked in the head by a ton of guilt. This was a human being I was mocking, possibly someoneâ€™s father or husband and certainly someoneâ€™s child. What separates him from me? Fate?
I know my life and can tell you it is not choices that led him there entirely. I am a member of the â€śLucky Sperm Clubâ€ť and that is a fact. I have a good job because I was given a good job. Yes, I earned keeping it, but I still got my foot in the door because I was lucky. In ten years time, who knows where I will be? Who am I to laugh at some poor, homeless guy simply because he cracked under the strains of life? I doubt I would even last long enough to crack if I were in that situation. I also know I would get any job I had to and maybe that is what separates me from him.
Here I am seven hours later still thinking about it. There is an image burned into my head, but I donâ€™t know if it is of him or of me refusing to look at him as he passed.
Why did I avoid eye contact with this man? Did I fear his plight would leap from him onto me? Was it easier for me to go about my happy day if I did not see him? Is there anything I could have done for him if I had seen him or is this just what we tell ourselves? I will never know because I did nothing as he walked past me except to think of a few jokes I heard about homeless people talking to no one.
If society acts like someone doesnâ€™t exist for a long enough period of time, can that person forget they exist? If so, did I just add to this manâ€™s delusion by not seeing him?