Saturday, October 25, 2008

an honest living on the bus

When I ride the bus to and from work I find myself with some type of person on every ride who is asking for help. Most people have some sort of speech or performance. There are the recovered drug addicts or gang members who have an amazing conversion story where they talk about how Jesus saved them from their past life. They usually give the message that you too can be saved and ask you to support the ministry that God used to help them by purchasing a sticker or something for 10 or 25 cents.

Other times it will be a man with his son telling us about how their youngest child has a terrible sickness and that they cannot afford the medical expenses to support their family. It is terribly depressing. There is the young boy about age 12 who got on the bus and sang us a song. I've seen him twice. He ends his song and says, "Thank you very much for helping me earn an honest living." It's so hard to see and hear that.

The other day, there was a clown and a man with no legs who got onto the bus. The man painted as a clown made some ridiculous comments and told everyone that his companion was the strongest man alive. He then lifted him up to hold onto the two bars on the top of the bus. He proceeded to do some acrobatic type exercises with some comical interaction with his partner. They then told everyone that they would appreciate a contribution.

A couple of days ago, I saw a young woman dressed as a clown with a little girl waiting to get on the bus. I saw her get on and though to myself, "She looks so sad." She got on towards the end of my bus ride. She set her little girl on the first seat and started to talk. "My name is Teardrop the sad clown. I want to recite a poem for you." She went on to recite the saddest poem. I cannot remember the words only the feeling I had. The poem told of the sadness of the clown that has to smile to hide their sadness, who has to smile to make others laugh. I had to get off before she finished her poem but, it made me feel very sad.

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live the questions now... R.M. Rilke