Karen and I were walking downtown the other day. The sun shone on her arms without hesitation; the clouds were gargantuan and unpigmented. The day was magnificent, and nothing could bring us down.
Until we saw the homeless man.
He wore a green parka, a grey knit cap and a scowl. He stood on a corner, and looked very, very, very homeless. I felt so sad looking at him. I cannot believe how sad it made me feel to look at him. I kept walking, feeling sad at the sight of this homeless man — sure that I would never break through the melancholy that had befallen me at the sight of this man who was so homeless.
But then I flashed back. I remembered a lesson from a class I’d just taken. English 10500. Dr. Frances J. Laurence. One of the three classes I attended at Notre Dame. (The lecturing system is severely outdated). I’ll never forget what he told us:
“If you want extra writing practice, here’s the email address to submit to the Obscurer. Write this down. Are you ready? v-i-e-w-p-o-i-n-t-@-n-d-s-m-c-o-b-s-c-u-r-e-r-dot-com.”
I took his sage advice to heart. Ever since, I’ve been submitting musings, ruminations, drafts of whatever hypotheses knock around in my brain. I always feel better to get my thoughts onto paper, and also into print where people can read it and know I’m a good person.
So today, dear readers, I told you about the homeless man. And, wow, I sure do feel better.
That homeless man taught me something today. About myself, and about the world. And we’re all better off because of it.