Archive for Homeless

Smithy(of all Tracks and Roads Leading West)

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2013 by lengesinski

Smithy(of all Tracks and Roads Leading West)


Tall bearded fellow, with graying hair comes through the front door, and  makes his way through burger joint late on this saturday afternoon.

 Smithy makes his way across the room to our last row with chooses a seat quite near the windows facing east and nearest to an exit.

 When finished with my own meal, I’m not satisfied to look past, or through the man to three seats to my left who still continues to sip from a Mcdonald’s Coffee Cup and read from a local saturday news rag.

 From three tables away, We both exchange glances, and nods-silent acknowledgments.

 One of many Questions about what day of the week it is, the month, the date of the month, what time it are asked to anybody who dared not to ignore the fellow with the well-worn army jacket.

Smithy’s memory issues jostle my own recollections  of running into the many homeless and unfortunate with that same well-worn expressions.

 My peace and conscience now are well rattled, an inner empathy blazing.

I make my way over to Smithy and offer the remainder of my food to him.

He happily and quite gratefully accepts the food, and soon sets about devouring the remaining foodstuffs with an urgency of one that has not seen many meals in the recent past.

 A short time later, I walk up  the front counter with Smithy and ask about any more food that can be purchased for him with last the few dollars and loose change that remain in my pocket.

Smithy pleads that the money can be best spent for a train ride west to lombard on the following day(Sunday).

Going against both personal philosophy and experience from living in Chicago, I hand over the few remaining dollars and loose pocket change.

From past experience, I would much rather feed somebody on the spot than offer money that could be used to feed existing negative behaviours.

 My heart aches in the fact that I could not do any more for this man, and it’s not difficult at all to see that Smithy has been down some roads in life that have not been kind in the least.

 Smithy’s memory issues jostle my own recollections  of running into the many homeless and unfortunate with that same well-worn expressions. Living or lingering amongst the subway rats each day and each night- Home sweet home indeed.

The same then garbled questions, .nights and days travelling by subway and bus into Chicago for overnight working gigs, and

God, that far-away look deep within those eyes—the look that I’m Certain that I’d rather not EVER have to walk a step in his Shoes.  

 The time came to part ways, Smithy and I Shook hands and my last words to him were ‘Brother, take the greatest of care, and be careful’.

 Some 31 hours later, I still wonder about Smithy’s future travels, whereabouts, and circumstances. 


…..Kol Tuv my friend

Smithy(of all Tracks and Roads Leading West)©Leonard.C. Gesinski All Rights Reserved(02/23/2013)

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