June 11, 2009
Today I saw a man sitting in the mall... there is a large semi-circular sofa placed at the entrance. The man was 40ish, heavy set, wearing jeans and an old stadium length jacket in a khaki beige colour. He sat completely motionless staring, not blinking or even shifting his glance. There was no spark of awareness in his eyes. He looked for all the world like a wax statue, so life-like ...but not quiet. Later he passed me on the street, his gaze fixed straight ahead, he didn't see me approach or hear my greeting. I wonder how someone comes to be all alone in the world. Literally, alone... so out of touch with your surroundings it leaves the people who occupy the same space as imperceptible ghosts. Is he on medication or self-medicating or is it something more.
I want to call him Ira, because no one should move through this life without an identity, without someone, somewhere at least knowing of your existence. Did Ira abandon us, or did we abandon him? Did he lose the people he loved and who loved him...? Did fear of loss, fear of pain convince Ira that being alone is better? I am sure he had parents (biological imperative and all that). Did he have a wife and children or siblings? If there is no-one in your world, there is no one to miss when they are gone...but then who will miss Ira when he is gone. Something changed for me today, my world has one more person in it. Although I may never see Ira again, in my world he exists. And I thank him for making me ask the questions I have shared with you here.