I was waiting for the Max the other day.

I stood still; silently and tired in the heat- watching the tall shadows from the buildings create a tunnel around the driving cars. I wished I had my sunglasses. But they had recently met their sad demise near the blueberry muffins in my local Trader Joe's I remembered, when I had stooped to read the ingredient label and they fell from my head; and I hadn't bought new ones yet. So, I squinted in the sun. A man ambling down the street caught my demented vision and my eyes followed him as he walked my direction. He had an interesting walk; a waltz-like shuffle and hobble at the same time. I heard something. Was he singing? He crossed the street, his glazed, delirious eyes barely noticing the cars randomly passing. He was dirty and hot and looked tired. He resembled most of the other homeless men in downtown Portland. His shoes were mainly flaps held together perhaps by a miracle and his clothing was torn and filthy. I was right, he was singing. His voice was loud and clear, and people looked up from their books and paused their conversations to glance at him. In an off-key solo of haunting proportions he sang: "I'm singing the same old song, I'm singing the same old song, I'm singing the same old song..." Over and over and over and over and he sang those words. I watched his bent shoulders disappear amidst the people on the street- as his empty phrase echoed through the air, ricocheting through the shadowy tunnel of the city buildings.

Oh God, give him a new song to sing.

1 comment:

Richard Walden said...

That was ...beautiful. I work at Sisters Of the Road in OldTown, where we try to let folk know that a "new song" is ready to be sung.

My name is Richard, please drop in sometime and let me buy you a cup of coffee.