“I don’t have anything to say.”
I’m not sure how that’s a response to “Good day.” Nonetheless, he’s got me thinking. Perhaps I was thinking, before I elected to say hello.
Saying you have “nothing to say,” seems to say “something.” In other words, just because our thoughts aren’t verbalized, doesn’t mean we don’t have thoughts/feelings- we simply aren’t discussing such.
Everyone has something to say, I think.
I turn and look at him-
“Are you from the city?” I ask, even though he’s seemingly disinterested in my conversation.
Red, green, blue – counting.
His eyes and teeth, aren’t nearly as white as his hair. Some might see him as worn, but I see him as wise. Life doesn’t primp, it marks. Shaking, his hands are mesmerizing ~ we are all interesting and beautiful.
I watch, as he slowly picks a red one this time. Much like a waiter with bad timing, I manage to ask him a question, as he begins chewing, “Which color is your favorite?”
Slowly, his eyes turn to mine…. he’s seemingly considering if my persistence is interesting, manipulative, or obnoxious.
And so I smile.
Red, green, blue- counting.
As the subway rocked, I asked him if I could share a story with him, even though he didn’t seemingly want to talk.
This time, he nodded in agreement, and with an outreached hand, offered me an M&M. I explained that I’m vegan, politely declining the candy.
As his body language softened, I began to share my thoughts on “human connection.”
His shoulders turned towards me, and he cautiously made eye contact….
From the Upper West Side, to Astor Place, I shared with him this story:
So, I was sitting in traffic on the FDR, in East Harlem, and I looked up and stared at an apartment building.
I came to NYC that day, because I’m a writer, and was covering a “Vegan Taco Tasting,” in the East Village. The food was okay, but not good enough for my blog. I’m not sure if you have a computer, or are interested, but I have a blog where I publish reviews, stories, recipes, and such.
Anyhow- the stone structure I was staring at, looked like every other building in NYC, haha! It had the typical fire escape, iron balconies, and this one stood about 17 stories high.
While staring at the seemingly ordinary building, I noticed a balcony with red Christmas garland hanging from it.
I’d say it was somewhere about the 11th floor?
I stared longer.
Traffic sucked that day, clearly.
As my fixed eyes gazed, for some reason I wondered who lived inside that specific apartment-
Were there children way up there? Maybe it’s an elderly mans home?
I listened to horns blare around me/ in the distance, and was curious if the tenant (in the apartment with the garland) could hear the city from far above? Maybe they had music playing, and were making dinner?
I wondered if the person in that building grew up there, or were a city newbie.
I wondered too, if that was last years Christmas garland? Or could it be this years? Maybe they are excited and decorating early?
“Do you celebrate Christmas?”
(I interrupted my steam of thought/discussion to ask another “question” that I knew he wasn’t going to answer. And then carried on.)
I wondered if the person who has garland on their balcony, which overlooks the FDR, reads my blog.
I really enjoy connecting with others, through my stories. I’m always curious about my readers lives- how their days are going. If they are happy or sad. I wonder if they feel alone and disconnected…..
And that’s how I felt that day looking at the balcony…..
I wondered if that person up there knows “someone” is wondering about them- that someone cares.
(Not that they’d actually know that “I’m sitting in my car thinking of them.” More, the idea that we are all connected, and some people do care.)
And I actually care.
You know, I feel extraordinary sad about the disconnection in our society, and I want to see that change/shift.
My dream is to write in a way, that helps bridge the gaps between us all. It may sound idealistic, but it doesn’t take much effort to think a little deeper, or care a little more.
“Just a little, it’s not too hard…. right?”
(Another question, but he nodded this time. I carried on.)
I know I’m a deep thinker, and I’m aware I have a weepy heart.
But I have a steadfast belief (from deep within), that following my “feelings and ideas” can help change the world- even if it’s only one persons moment- at one time.
I mean, the only thing between you and I, is our journey ~
But here we both are, in this place, today.
In the background I heard “Next stop, Astor Place.” I prepared to shorten up the conversation, as I had to head out.
Gathering my things, I told him I appreciated his company. I thanked him for listening to me, and my story.
Unexpectedly, he gently touched my arm, and stuttered as he spoke; “You are right. We are connected. The good heart gives, even when there is nothing to get in return. Thank you for talking to me, even though I can’t talk, easily.”
And without thinking I replied; “Thank you for offering me your food, even though I couldn’t eat it.”
Just because I didn’t eat the chocolate, didn’t mean I didn’t want the chocolate, or appreciate the offer.
Just because he didn’t have anything to say, didn’t mean he didn’t want the conversation, or appreciate the company.
We are all connected.
We all need connection.
Sometimes, giving connection to those who seemingly don’t want or need connection, is exactly the connection they long for.
Think outside the box.
Care, a little more.
Listen, a little more.
Send positive energy, a little more.
Just love, a little more.
We are all connected.
Peace, light, and love,