Carhartt outer garment
infinite sizes bigger than
the current man
whose cheeks had also
likely been fuller
instead of a-sunken
part of his frame
needing the jaws of Life
Fidget. Self-talk. Fidget…
Many pretended not to notice him
I couldn’t help but notice us all, an arguably bad habit
that led me to wait for, then hold, his gaze and smile
“Miss, can I transfer to the _ here?”
Over the years, my spirit became unfamiliar
with steps I once took in my sleep
Such uncertainty appreciated
the interruption of a brother quickened to care
“Hey big man. Stay on for one more stop.
Then you can make your transfer.”
Given more reason
I continued smiling and studying
the atmosphere, the most stylish of our new temporary neighbors
giggling a step away from us with his back turned
The seeker stood by me now, more relaxed.
“So where you headed?”, the quickened one engaged further.
“Um, I’m trying to get to ____________. That’s why I need to transfer.”
“Oh, ok. You got a ways to go. Gonna hafta take the shuttle too, but…”, peering into him, “you just got home, man?”
Quick’s own scars, alert eyes and darkened lips cited little if anything to do with military discharge and saw himself in Seeker, an admitted former inmate of a criminally complex industry.
Style giggled louder to face us now, apparently a secret conversant all along. “You couldn’t tell? He still got ‘the uniform’ on!”, he said shaking his head and turning his back once again.
My mind flashed even quicker to a self-professed independent woman who, during a training on addressing and serving clients that’d been part of the commercial sex trade, inquired why they hadn’t just left the sometimes involuntary chains anytime.
A humble(d) light sparked in her eyes once introduced to the dynamics of some having their spirits broken early even by females who facilitated the harm for a fee or their own fears, lives threatened, social circle betrayal unto belief that down was the only up or out and ID stolen, without which legal work as well as the avoidance of law enforcement harassment were nearly impossible.
That led me to consider the wise & foolish virgins‘ parable. To never seek the oil of God for one’s ‘lamp’ is clearly folly and deserving of decided ignorance’s result: (spiritual) darkness. To my limited knowledge, however, nowhere does it read or encourage that wisdom deceives, pushes another into harm/out of help’s way or makes high-minded jest of those suffering relative lack. My belief is that it prays, works and walks on; worthy as possible for God’s will to be done well, counting every blessing bestowed despite all our imperfection.
I shook my head of Style’s unfunny affect and flashed back to witness Quick shake Seeker’s hand instead.
“Been there. Gotta help a brother when I can. I’m getting off next, too. You good, though? You need anything to eat or sumn?”
“Nah, I’m good. Thanks, man.”
“Alright. Cool. Welcome back.”
We thanked and greet each other in closing as they exited and traveled on.
The train was briefly stalled for a clear signal that the track was available for us to continue along the line. Style looked down the platform, noticing a somewhat bewildered Seeker’s rediscovery of the outside world after an unknown period away, however (un)duly.
“Go that way”, he projected and continued to laugh.
“Life is real”, I stated to him without response except for continued laughter and replacing an earbud that returned him to the solitary world he probably hadn’t left since his own jail stint.
A ‘how dare he’ spirit rose in me, judging his laughter at another’s need, that had to be quelled instantly. Truth is, knowing that all our “make-it-through mechanisms” vary, one’s laughter is another’s tears is another’s binge eating…work…sleep…silent isolation…all’s-well pretense…and so on. I have no idea what inner terrors he was trying to temper within himself. What I do know is that we are explicitly charged to discern and deliver kindness to all as if to angels, step aside as others must also enter and exit as God wills and stand clear preferably on the right side of the closing doors.
Though headed elsewhere, I, too, needed to emphasize the right connection; in all ways. Focusing on things above, as with the mind of Christ Jesus, is a healer.
Eventually, the train would arrive at its last stop to empty itself of all passengers, be tidied, fill up and repeat the process in the opposite direction indefinitely; transporting millions of souls and assignments; vessels in vessel. I’m inclined to believe that the time will come when it shall also be so with The Most High’s patience and the earth’s fullness.
It was very cold above ground; the bus wait much longer than what was published on the table. Gratitude for the warmth of proper dressing and mindset in that moment helped pass the time. A man whose position in the rapidly extending line was just ahead of mine started to comfort himself with music. I recognized the opening chords of a decent classic, shared a brief mention recognizing The Whispers with him and continued silent Bible devotional reading on my phone.
Shortly thereafter, he changed to another Whispers tune and fast-forwarded to a graphic lyrical part of the salacious selection; serenading himself. I shook my head, giggled and adjusted my hood against the rough draft, turning my back to him and the wind direction for the remainder of the wait. Oh Israel… Life is real.
LOVE. Pro-verb that it is, we often get caught in the act of masking, mis-taking, considering it a mere lower cas(t)e expression and seldom regard it as the key to earnestly parlay from one Life position to another, rightful place. As the greatest duty God has given us or a (technical) hard/soft skill [PDF download], rest assured it is transferable.
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