Day 17,18 of Isolation: $2 Teeth & No Smile

Yesterday I woke up slightly lower than usual. You know the feeling of hitting your head accidentally, and then you feel that throbbing that persists? Well, Saturday felt like that.

We had some champagne the other night which must have not agreed with me. Another day in isolation felt the same as the one before it and ten days before that.

I wanted an early night or I think I needed one.

The next day I tried to mix things up and sit outside to meditate. However, my earphones were not being productive so I gave up pretty quickly.

At least Loui was happy being outdoors. I took him for a walk which felt somewhat satisfying. It was reassuring to know one of us felt the sun internally.

At the grocery shop, I spotted a familiar face. Almost the colour of chalk, with always newly dyed hair. Always terribly done. He looked young, about 5-17 I think. I remember seeing this kid the first week I moved into the suburb. He asked my mum and I on the street about the pizza we were carrying and mum glided through the conversation, just happy to chat without realising he wanted a slice.

He was homeless I later realised. So he didn’t want a slice, he needed one.

I realised this when we got home that we were too blondes short a few screws and wondered if he ate that night.

I saw him a lot from then on. Trudging up the main street in military boots and a big rain jacket. Sometimes in a school uniform, hair always scruffy.

He never looked aggressive, just like he had more things on his mind then the usual teenager.

However it was weird, when I moved to another suburb nearby he started turned up there too. Like a reminder of a missed opportunity.

 

 “Excuse me.”

I turned around after feeling a bag scrap past my back; something kind of worrisome with social-distancing being a payable-offense and all.

To my surprise, I saw that familiar, extremely pale face. With bright pink hair hiding his eyes.

To my right, I continued to quietly watch him riffled through the $2 lolly aisle. I didn’t know he was stuffing them into his bag, until I heard an older Asian man start swearing.

I thought it was his foster-dad or parent the way they spoke to him. More disappointed than angry.

“Take the stuff out of your bag and leave.” The store manager said.

“Go on.”

The boy swore a bit and then did what he was told.

The same troubled look resided on his face as he walked past me and out the door.

Like the world was too heavy for him to carry.

 

The virus was not being kind to many of us but to those who are homeless or without food, it would be unbearable.

I thought about how I could have helped him.

Then ran through the shopping list of why I couldn’t. Such a list automatically installed by over-suspicious or perhaps, selfish parents. Parents who care about only things that relate to themselves. Their kids, their money, their food.

My dad’s voice said, “He could be aggressive, steal from us. If he’s on survival mode, usually people’s humanity switches are turned off. Or he’s addicted to something…”

But what if he was just a kid who no one gave a chance, due to him being a boy and not a vulnerable girl on the streets? I asked myself.

“Yeah but what if he took your TV, and then left early the next day with cash in his pocket? You didn’t even pay for that TV, I did.”

My dad had a point… as two females, we couldn’t really protect ourselves…

But were these somewhat valid excuses real? Or an excuse to not show kindness to those in need?

I ended up buying that bag of $2 teeth he had tried to pick up. Idk why, I mean, it’s not like I would have found him sitting outside the place he had attempted to steal from.

At home, I ended up eating the whole bag and then proceeded to feel sick for at least 2 hours after while thinking about all the different shades of grey there are in the world. The in-between of right and wrong. Good and bad.

How sometimes we feel helpless when really we aren’t at all.

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