I don’t even know where to start.
All I know is there’ll be no fancy picture tonight. No catchy titles and witty, meaningless tags. No. Not tonight.
I’m furious. I’m sick. My stomach’s churching. I can feel my heart pounding. Exhaustion weighs so heavy on my shoulders, on my spirit. There’s no way you can read this with the passion I feel right now. No way you can know.
So much hurt. I’m hurting. We ate with another street kid. Just another street kid. Just another street kid I walked past. Just another street kid sniffing glue, dendrite. Just another filthy pair of child hands with a crumpled, filthy paper bag pressed tight against his filthy face.
But my pounding heart turned my steps. Deep sorrow clung to my legs like a stubborn beggar. He was probably sniffing to forget the hunger, to ward off the cold.
Retracing my steps, he was already coming my direction. I give a “Namaste” and a smile and he’s already begging. “Food?” He wants Nepali chicken dal bhat. I’m eager to go with him to find a meal. My heart set to fleeting rest.
But as he shovels his dirty, street-smudged face, a sickness swells inside. Just another meal for just another street kid. This is so wrong. This is messed up. By tonight he’ll be sniffing again. Inhaling the toxic air to get through another night. Anger swells at this egregious, blatant injustice. So wrong. This is wrong. For my brother or your son, we’d not sleep, not eat again until he was rescued from these filthy streets.
I’m furious this isn’t ending. Who’s doing anything? Is anyone doing anything? Does anyone care?
And I’m sick. I’m furious. Because I know how easy it will be for me to go back and just live my easy life. So comfortable. I’ll be busy, so busy. School, work, projects, friends. I’ll be eating in my school cafeteria again. So far from the street kids and beggars. So far. Sick, because I know how easy it will be to forget. To just go on.
“It’s too much to think about. You’re emotionally exhausted. You can’t fix everything. You’ve got to press on so you can help him someday. You can’t fix everything.”
Is that what you say? I can’t help but wonder if that’s what you’re thinking. Is that what you’re thinking? Because maybe there’s a voice inside trying to make myself feel better with thoughts like that.
Well it doesn’t.
I can’t do everything. Will I do anything, about anything? Anything? Anything? Anything?
I don’t know what to say. Part of me just wants to forget for a while. To sleep.
But should I ever forget, I pray that one forgetful day as I eat some warm meal in some warm restaurant, I catch a glimpse of his face in some puddle of my mind, and I feel completely sick. And I can’t finish.
Maybe if you’d stared into his eyes. Watched him eat. Seen the smile stretch across his face as he talked about dendrite. Stared deep into his eyes. Maybe then you’d feel the same.
There’s no way you can know.
And forgive me. Forgive me if you do. His face is just one of millions. Maybe you’ve eaten with him. Held him. Stared into his eyes. Then maybe you know.
I can’t sleep.