“No.”

Something happened to me this morning on the way to Central Park that affected me in a way that I felt I needed to share. Hopefully it affects you, too.

A man was digging through the garbage while New Yorkers & tourists walked past him as if another human being digging through garbage is normal. Everyday, because I can’t feed everyone on my “salary”, I feed the first person I see with a bagel or roll from the nearest halal stand. I stop, purchase a roll, the guy tries to upsell me (😑) and I jog down the block to catch up with my fellow human being who was just digging through a pile of trash bags looking for breakfast (that just totally tore me apart to even type). So, I touch his shoulder & say “hey friend”, and try to hand him the roll.

He says “No.”

He doesn’t even look at me. He just keeps walking.

I reply with, “it’s a fresh hot roll, wish I could do more.”

“No.”

“Really?”

And then I just stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, fucking perplexed.
Why did he refuse? He’s clearly starving?
Is he so lethargic & jaded with the humans that pass him everyday like he doesn’t exist, that he would rather find food in the garbage than take food they purchased just for him?

The roll is still in my bag, don’t know what to do with it. Thought about giving it to someone else, but, that guy just really affected me. That’s someone’s ex boyfriend. Someone’s son. Someone’s father, maybe. Someone’s brother. Eating food from garbage bags, refusing to interact with people, probably because he hates his own species. Can I blame him?

I think I’ll never forget that moment. I don’t know how to end this blog post. That moment was really powerful, in a really disappointing way. Do what you will with this. Nothing means more to me than people discovering love in the way it was meant to be expressed because we are way off pace, today.

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