I saw a homeless man sketching on paper and in my strides I began to watch him, the transition of my passing slowed down as I notice a women his age is slumped next to him. I was kept for that moment; witnessing tears beading from her eyes and my heart responded hitting my stomach.
I continue to walk. I was heading for the ‘Justice for Elijah’ protest that would be the very valuable platform in fighting for Australian indigenous rights, and I am wondering why I am now walking towards this protest at all if I can not stop and acknowledge this women who as it were, is an indigenous Australian.
Inwardly apprehensive I spin around.
I kneel down and whisper “hi” then floods of tears come over me. I’m crying and witnessing her suffering that was so transparently unbending.
It was her husband sketching next to her. He broke his wrist, showing me the state of its complete dislocation waving it in compromising positions; boiling down likely years of institutional socio economic contributors to this work injury as the catalyst for their circumstances now.
A rightly problematic but surface explanation I feel he realises; as I do too.
I didn’t really know what else to do other then listen to their story, the women sobbed during the entire encounter. I asked if they would accept money slipping a pathetic $10 note under her water bottle.
I asked if I could hug her. We hugged, I’m still tearing in this exchange and so is she. I stood up and said goodbye and she raised her head, held her hand over her heart returning me with her good grace without words.
Today this was merely a reminder of the bigger, much uglier realities that indeed our dominant economic model of capitalism is broken, and unchecked technological “progress” comes at a steep human cost.
None of us really know what to do about it, it’s just -out of our hands- so I just carry on now with the same narrative of being the needy fuckwitt with inseparable wants before the homeless people had me checking myself for a minute.
Everything still stays fucked.