News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Kindness of Strangers

Friday, April 13, 2007

Kindness of Strangers

The wind tears at my heart as the eyes begin to stare at the two foreigners I know us to be. Does this woman not understand? She must be working for the opposition or she has forgotten how many of us do not step on a welcome mat into all countries.

I smile at her kind words--for she seems a kind woman, well-intentioned and full of pity, maybe that better virtue compassion. But she's drawing too much attention to me: two women, one in a sundress talking to what appears to be a ragamuffin baglady of questionable swarthiness--at least here in this land of blond and blue eyes.

I need to get rid of her now. Oh my, she wants to take me out to lunch. Out to lunch?! Is she insane? The midnight sun must have drained the last drops of prudence from her joints.

Surely it'd be nice to eat in a lovely restaurant with such a beautiful woman. I might wind down the hours with soft memories and taste again the sweetness of the warm brown flesh of loves like her I once knew and lost.

Another time, another place: I'd go and spent the light hours discussing politics and the anguish of my people. I'd run the tongue of daydreams along the curves of her brown limbs. And perhaps I'd go with her and spend those ecstatic moments that two strangers share, that lonely anguish of desire that love between strangers destined for memory and perhaps forgotten bliss brings.

But that time is not now, not in this place, not in this hour of my hunger and despair.

I must find the comrades and begin the mission they have called me to accomplish.

She stands waiting--put off somewhat by the slowness of my response to what to her must seem an act of grace fallen to the streets of this busy street.

But paranoia tears at my bowels, making the leaden stumps I stand on begin to gear to move.

I reply to her pity, to her kind regard, whatever it is that has called attention to us on this street where so many eyes can see me.

"No, mi amiga. That is not necessary. I am not dressed for that, as you see. Perhaps you could show me the way to the nearest soup kitchen."

I begin walking to an alley close by, trying not to appear scared or hurried.

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