This Side of Life

Walking up the high street to the spot where he always sits just across from the Castle and near the McDonald’s, I dropped a measly pound into his hat and my eyes caught his. I instinctively wanted to look away but my gaze lingered and so did his and I saw the pain and exhaustion and acceptance of it all behind his somber stare. I wanted to say something that let him know I saw him, like really saw him, but I couldn’t muster up the words, and I didn’t know what they were. We just looked at each other silently, and I wondered how, by some sleight of hand, I ended up on this side of life and him on the other.

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