The heart the soul and mind
The bodies internal flower
Supporting all aspects of humankind
He and his dog had become fixtures. Expected roadblocks, interrupting daily commutes.
Not unlike Chicago’s famous bean, or the Navy Pier, familiar. So familiar, in fact, that the local’s called him by name. No, not his given name, they would have had to make eye contact or taken a moment to get that intimate. No, it was a name you might call a stray or another driver, as you internalized your road rage. They called him, speedbump. And as they passed him by, they would laugh and grumble, as he sat on the stoops, feeding the birds.
He didn’t care, and until recently, I didn’t know it he never even noticed.
Late one afternoon, after an incredibly long day at work, I decided to skip the uber and walk back to my apartment. It was an especially beautiful day, and coincidentally, my birthday. Although, no-one, absolutely no-one noticed or even mentioned it. As I made my way through the typical Friday evening crowds on the magnificent mile, (Felt more like 10 today) I stumbled, literally, over a man on the sidewalk. I was immediately angry, getting up, and brushing the legs of my suit, I barked, “come-on man, get out of the way,” without thought I continued on my way, when I heard a small voice respond.
“Maybe YOU need to watch where YOU are going. Don’t you recognize a hero when you see one?”
I spun around like a top, prepared to educate this dweller on the basics of human decency and self-respect. Turned out, I was the one about to get schooled. I turned to find myself, face to face with one of the largest German shepherds I had ever seen, and he was gracing me with his 42 canine salutes. My hands went up in defense. “Ok, boy, that’s a good boy, I’m just going to leave you two alone.” As I was about to wet myself, a voice from under a tattered red jacket recalled the beast.
“Corporal, about face, back in line soldier!” The dog quickly returned to a sitting position, next to the tattered old man.
I stammered, feeling like a total sack of shit, “I am so sorry sir, I meant no…