Love the Invisible

Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, USA

Screenwriter, novelist, and regular columnist for Script Magazine and Write On Online. Her musings can be found on her website, Ramblings of a Recovering Insecureaholic. http://jeannevb.com/

How often do you reach out to another human?

On Good Friday, I was at Penn Station. A homeless man politely approached me and asked for money. His pitch was eloquent, heartfelt, and with wonderful eye contact. I was marveled by his intelligence.

Liquor seeped from his breath, and a cane supported his frail body, but I couldn’t help but wonder what his story was. If he were a character in my script or novel, what would I learn from him? What would his arc be? But this man wasn’t fiction. He was real, and he indeed needed help.

Instead of handing him a ten dollar bill that would have most certainly been spent on more moonshine, I offered, “Let me buy you lunch.” I wanted to take him into the restaurant so he could choose what most appealed to him, but he explained the homeless weren’t allowed.

As I stood on line waiting for food, I glanced back at him, propped against the wall. People were passing by, as if he didn’t exist. He was invisible. Totally invisible. My heart broke.

With a bag of warm nourishment, I returned and held out his hot lunch. As he reached for it, I looked him in the eyes and said, “I love you.” He was astonished. A tear rolled down his cheek, “I don’t remember the last time someone said that to me.” I simply repeated, “I love you.” A sweet smile rose across his parched lips as he declared, “I love you too.”

I smiled and walked away, never to see him again. But for that one day, that one moment, I hope he felt loved. Those three words were more nourishing to him than any amount of food.

Try spreading love and see what joy comes back to you.

Comments

2 comments

Submitted by Claire Terry on Tue, 01/31/2012 - 12:01.

Thank you, Zero. Just read your piece and I can identify with what you're saying ... Jeanette's essay is beautiful and very thought-provoking. I know a an 88-year-old lady (and good friend) here in Barcelona who gives a small amount of change to EVERY homeless person she meets (and she's on a tiny state pension.) There ARE good people in the world, thank goodness!

Glad you like the site, too! If there's anything that you'd like to post (that includes photos, too), please just write to us via the 'Share Your Ideas!' page.
All the best,
Claire

Submitted by Zero Dean on Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:52.

This is beautiful. I was directed here after I wrote a blog piece last night that reminded someone of your post here and they pointed me to it on my FB page.

I'm not here to promote it, though I would be thrilled if you read it, so I'm including the link. It's called:

"I was a jerk. So I turned around." http://bit.ly/zWxhu5

I was touched by your piece -- even more so after having my own experience last night. Thank you for sharing your story.

I haven't yet taken a look around your site, but I will. I already love the name and I like how you write.

Sincerely,

Zero Dean

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