The Guy at the Station

A while ago I got chatting to the homeless guy who lives outside my local tube station.  He told me his name.  He told me that he keeps smiling, that if I ever see him without a smile it means he has given up.  But not to worry, darling, that’ll never happen.  Today he told me he used to be a carpenter and he always hated Mondays as much as I seemed to be struggling with mine.  I told him I can’t complain, that a job is a job, and he said that is the way I have to look at it.

Then he told me something that made me infinitely sad.  The other night, someone up the road had given him a sleeping bag and he went to sleep in the park.  During the night, some men stole it from him, along with £7. Now he will always try to sleep by the station because there is CCTV outside it and he thinks they wouldn’t have done it if they knew they would be seen.  He also said he hopes the money goes on fire, and that he has a deep-seated belief in karma.  I agreed. He said he would never take something that wasn’t his.  That whatever else he might be, he has never been and will never be a thief.

I went away to work, late, thankful that I have a job and slept in a bed last night that nobody stole.  In a house.  With heating.  With someone who loves me and whom I love.

There is no point feeling guilty about my earlier pre-work, early morning rage.  Guilt is not as powerful as gratitude.


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