“Excuse me ma’am, are you in the movies? You should be in the movies. Maybe you should…” the disheveled looking man said before trailing off into words I wasn’t able to make out.
“I’m not,” I said laughing, “but thank you, sir.”
“What’s your name?”
“Rachel, what’s yours?” I asked hoping he’d move along a little more quickly, after all I had work to do.
“My name is Mike. I am an artist. I am a musician. And I really love you.”
“Ha! I believe you’re an artist and a musician, I don’t believe you love me, we just met!” I retorted.
“Yeah, but you talked to me. You’re the first person all day to talk to me…”
He grabbed my hand to hold it for a second, before pulling me into a hug.
My heart sank. How is it possible that this man could have hustled through the middle of downtown in one of the largest cities in America and had yet to hear a voice addressed, acknowledging him until 3:00 in the afternoon?
“Of course I talked to you, Mike,” I said, “you asked me a question. What kind of person ignores another person when they’re talked to?”
“The kind of person that forgets that I am a person.”
Today, I want to learn from Mike. I want to make the conscious decision to see people when I pass them – not bums, not crackheads, not staunch businessmen, not crazy liberals, not whores, not snobs, not rich, not poor. I want to slow down. Today, I want to see people, not character labels I assume on others based on the clothing they wear. Today I want to stop and recognize our need for each other. Today, I want give love.
Then tomorrow, I want do it again.