Well thank YOU for reading it, bitofamaniac!! I sure am glad that there are people who are still interested in the blog and who find something inspirational to take with them! Thank you!!! Hope you have a nice night! Unless you are in a different time zone than I am and it’s the afternoon. Or morning. In which case… oh you get it! xo
The weather in New York has been brutal the last few days. Thursday night we had a snowstorm, and the snow has pretty much stuck to the ground ever since then. At first it was a nice, cheery white, but now it’s all turning to sludge. Friday was particularly cold. Not just cold but windy. Sometimes I feel like that’s even worse than when it’s just cold. Today it was cold as well and… well, it’s cold. It’s winter in New York. So goes it.
This afternoon I was walking through SoHo when I saw a man sitting on a blanket underneath some scaffolding. He was right in front of a very upscale restaurant and touristy destination. Now, this is nothing really new in the city. There are homeless people everywhere. But so long as I live here I will never just “get used” to seeing people lying on the streets in need of shelter or just a touch of common decency from someone, anyone who might be walking by. Not that I blame the people who just walk by. It’s not for me to judge. There are so many people on the streets of New York City that in a way you almost have to desensitize yourself to the amount of sadness you might see in any given day. Still, it’s bad. It’s especially bad when it’s about 23 degrees outside and dropping.
As I walked by the man I heard him crying. Not just crying… weeping. It was awful. It was one of the worst sounds I have ever heard from another human being. It was so bad in fact that before I knew what was happening I was crying on the spot. I don’t know how you can hear a sound like that and not be moved. It was just terrible. He was begging people to help him. He said “please save me!!” and I truly believe he needed to be saved. I stood for a moment not knowing what I was doing. I watched people coming and going, and all the while this man sobbed on the ground until tears actually froze on his face. Normally I would buy him a meal and a nice warm drink just to do something… anything, but today I gave him everything. Everything last dime. I didn’t know what else to do. When he saw what was in his cup he started crying again, but this time it sounded like he was relieved. He said “thank you for saving my life”. I don’t know if I did that or not, but I know it must have helped somehow.
I felt like a real jerk as I walked home. Not for what I had done, but for how I can be sometimes. I go on these often week long emotional binges where I question everything and bemoan my life choices. But my God. I have a roof over my head. I’m typing this from my nice cozy bed with warm blankets piled on top of me. I have food in my cabinets should I get hungry, and water to drink should I go thirsty. I have shoes, socks, sweaters, coats, scarves, hats… everything I need to stay warm when I go outside. That guy didn’t have anything. Now maybe he has a little something like perhaps a nice warm meal or a place to stay. I don’t know. I just know that when I heard him crying it was like someone had ripped my soul out of my body. There was no way to just walk on by. I hope that if there ever came a day when I was so badly in need of help and crying on the ground someone might be kind and help me too. Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I didn’t help at all. I just hope he is safe tonight, and somewhere off the street.
If you live in NYC you know how terribly cold it can get in the winter. Especially lately. Maybe you have some old coats that you no longer wear? If you do, then it’s always nice to check where the nearest drop-off location is and to help out NY Cares with their yearly coat drive. Likewise, if you ever see someone who you think is in danger or who might truly need help you can always call 311 and one of their volunteers will come around to check on the person you are worried about. There are so many ways you can look after your fellow human beings. A million little things you can do to help someone out. We can do more than walk by. We can even help someone feel safe and warm on a cold winter’s night.
Here’s hoping you are all snuggled up someplace nice this evening.