Monday, January 3, 2011
Yet Am I Different?
The stench is unexplainable, but you always know it’s him when you smell it, because it’s also very distinct. You want to vomit whenever he’s within a 20 feet radius and you’d prefer that smell over his.
You can’t look at him either; he’s perfectly unbearable. The tumor protrudes from the left side of his face, demolishing the natural shape that faces should have. It’s an untamable shape. It has distorted his other features so that his nose is hardly visible except when you look closely you may see his two nostrils. But no one would dare to look closely. His skin hangs past his neck, taking part of his lips with it, and his left eye is forced shut because of the pressure of the tumor.
His hair is the most horrible colour you’ve ever seen- a strange mix of grey and yellow, with a slight hint of green. It’s matted, clinging to his scalp and the rest of it drips down his shoulders in tangled disarray.
He wears pathetic rags that hardly cover his body, and you wish that he would cover his body because the bones that protrude from his flaky skin disturb you. You wonder if some of the protrusions are other tumors, but you can’t quite tell. His feet are bare, and hairy and probably infected with various fungi.
He rides his bike wherever he goes. It’s an old rickety thing that’s starting to rust pretty bad. You don’t know if he is homeless or not because the only time you see him is when he passes you on the other side of the street on his bicycle, or when he’s in the grocery store. A few times he has been asked by your manager to leave the grocery store because he disturbs the customers and therefore disturbs business.
He only ever buys liquor, cigarettes and bread and you figure he must have gotten cancer from his unhealthy diet. Perhaps he should shop at night when most customers are in their comfortable houses dosing off to the TV, but he always arrives at the store around noon, nearly every other day.
He’s despicable and no one can deny it. No one wants to look at him, or smell him or get near enough to talk to him.
You wonder if he can even talk, given his mouth might be disabled from that distorting tumor on his face. You assume that he has no mirrors in his house, if he has a house, You also assume that he has no family or friends because if he did, perhaps they would shop for him and furthermore, you wonder how anyone could stand him long enough to befriend him. He is probably an alcoholic, considering how much he buys, but that’s understandable, of course he would want to numb himself from this miserable existence.
You wonder and assume a lot of things about him, but thoughts of him mostly give you nightmares, so it’s better to ignore him. You sell him his liquor, cigarettes and bread as fast as possible and with your unfriendliness, encourage him to leave.
However, I do remember one time, I was in line behind him and you accidently caught his eye- only his right eye, because the other he can’t open. I saw your face change, and I could hardly read every emotion that swam through your countenance in that moment. Disgust, horror, deep sadness?
His eye- it were the most lonely and lost sight you had ever endured. You forgot the smell and the ugliness, and just stared at that dead blue eye.
Maybe that changed you, because you know his name now and you know that he lives alone in an old van in an old trashy lot. He has no friends, of course, or family to speak of. He gets money from social security and spends it all on forgetting his troubles, but he can’t bring himself to end it all for good though, because he was raised to believe in God, and he’s not ready to face Him, even though he despises the thought of Him.
He’s the most beggardly man the world could know and the most wretched. Who could love a man like him? You and I, we can still barely stand to look his way, even when we know we should.
Yet who am I and am I really more lovely to behold?