She must have walked 5 miles with us. I started to wonder would she follow us home. I started to wonder how I would care for her. I started to wonder about her name.
I’m not typically forgetful when it comes to people. For some strange reason, everything about people tend to stick to my mind; their mannerism, their behavior, their smile or lack thereof. All of it sticks. I think about people when I’m hungry. Not to be sanctimonious or anything, I really just think about people who didn’t eat. Whereas I have the ability and the means to feed myself; I’m often reminded of the kids I used to see growing up on the streets of Haiti.
And no, this isn’t just a read to say that Haiti is poor… well; maybe but truth is, I grew up there and it was not that bad. In comparison to the land of the double chins, fast food, triple portions; it might seem really bad but for most people it was enough but for others, they might have been happy seeing even a small balance portion in a month.
So there, now that I easily made you feel somewhat guilty while eating a box of food, this story/arc/thought isn’t over. So hash-tag, COMPLETE POVERTY, that’s the setting of this story. About 4 years ago, I remember going to “Champ De Mars”, think of it like the ultimate Haitian downtown courtyard near the palace, a young boy ran into me. Typical suspect, tattered clothe, little to no hygiene, completely dazed and paralyzed by life; and he looked at me. I had a plate of what i would consider street food, some banane (aka fried plantains 4x Slices) and some poule (aka fried chicken 2x Drums). I took a one piece of chicken and one plantain, though I haven’t eaten all day; i figure the American fat will keep me alive a bit longer if necessary and gave him the rest.
He tore into it, ate as fast as he could and stuffed the plantains in his pants pocket. Not sure what he thought, nor did we ever talk about it. No exchange of words. No gratitude of appreciation. It was as it was, a quiet moment as I surveyed the area. This was once my home. And where this poor boy slept would of been my home too. I asked myself how unlucky we both were. He slept, as I watch the area, climbing over a wall and i sat there as if providing security. I must of counted over 20 children from 4-9 years of age, all the same. Asking and trying to live another day. Trying to survive.
I forget his face now, I forget all the detail and character of his youth. I can only seem to remember the rope that he used as belt. I remember writing about that a while back ago, I remember the holes in his shirt and the fact that it was now black instead of its intended color of blue. This sliver of pavement was his home, it was his life.
to be continued later… later today to be exact. (true story too)