Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaNoWriMo Begins

This year I've decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. I have to write about 1700 words a day for the entire month of November. Today I wrote 3000 words. I purposely did not go out tonight, which is really saying something being that I'm a desperately single female.

To assist me in my literary journey, I bought an iPod touch. It is much cheaper than a laptop or an iPhone, and I need to replace my old iPod anyway. It has almost changed my life. When I went to sleep on the first night I had it, I cuddled with it. For the first time in nearly two years I did not feel the intense yearning for human companionship as this little miracle device had satisfied that need.

Those last two sentences are completely fictional.

I don't know why NaNoWriMo chose November. It's the beginning of the holiday season, so people are naturally immensely busy. I foresee this being a very stressful month, being that I have numerous projects at work, several social events, several family events (including a Thanksgiving/birthday party in which there will be 87 attendees), and several other little personal projects to attend to (like getting my first date in nearly two years).

All that said, I think I can do it. I perform very well under stress. There has only been a few times when I nearly fall off the edge, but then something miraculous happens, and I'm pulled back into the true wonders of reality. Something like this happened just the other day.

I walk the same route to work every morning. I enjoy walking to work because it gives me time to listen to music and think about my life, though they may not be the most pleasant of thoughts. Each day I walk across the same bridge, and on this same bridge is always the same homeless man. Most homeless people in this area are very transient, but not this one. Everyday he lifts his cup of change in my direction, and everyday I ignore him. At first, I ignored him because I never had any change on me. Now I ignore him no matter what is in my pocket.

Lately I've been seeing a shriveled old homeless woman walking around this same area. At first I didn't know she was homeless, she just looked slightly disheveled. Then as days passed I noticed that she never changed clothes and she was always in hanging around the same general area. Also, she always wore a thick, dirty winter coat, no matter what the weather was like. The coat was similar to one I had back in the 80s, when I was nine. I never see this woman beg, but I have seen her foraging through trash.

On Friday morning I was in a particular funk. I hadn't been feeling well lately, and I was thinking about the utter misery that is my nonexistent love life. I was really feeling horrible, and as I came upon the bridge I secretly wished that the homeless man weren't there so I wouldn't have to deal with him. As I started crossing the bridge, I noticed that homeless woman was standing in front of the seated homeless man and bending down towards him. She was talking to him, and he was stoically listening. Then something astounding happened.

As the woman was talking, the man reached into a cup, pulled out a fistful of change and handed it to her. Her body still bent, she shoved the money into her coat pocket. Just before she straightened, I saw a single but large tear drop from her eye.

I felt sick with myself. I just saw and extreme act of pure human kindness, and only moments before I was wallowing in self pity. I wanted to pour everything out of my pockets and shower it on these people. I wanted to buy them a feast every day for the rest of their lives. I wanted to put them a castle in the sky, with huge fireplaces and silky soft beds so that they may never sleep in the cold or lie on the pavement ever again. But my pockets were empty and I had not a scrap of food on me. I also felt that this was a private moment, something that neither one wanted anyone to witness. But I felt I was meant to witness this. I felt some force had propelled me to this occurrence so I could see that even most degraded person has goodness within them.

Next time I see either one of them, I will buy them some food, maybe give the some money. I will ask them their names. I will say hello each time I see them.