I passed him last night as he stood still on the bridge, looking down to the blackened running stream far below.
I stopped by his side, and leaned on the railing. There was only black down there, except for the grumbling sound of the river. There was nothing in front, only the fog, dancing like a silk curtain dancing in the wind.
The night wind just flew past us. Swift, silent, but the chill that trailed stayed deep in the bone. It was close to two in the morning, and I haven’t stopped since four am the morning before. Even if there were some words that I wanted to say, I ran out of power and will to say it.
I touched him on his back, as gently as I can, as not to surprise him. I know he was deep in his thought.
I tapped his shoulder as lightly as I could as to not to provoke him. I know he was away in his consideration.
I wanted to open my jacket and wrapped him with it, but for some reason I just hold him with both arms and took him home.
He didn’t do much. He made it clear, not loud, that he wanted to go back to that place on the bridge, but even if he will go back there, I wanted to show him something.
I wanted to tell him about his people, from the same walks of life, from that place on the bridge atop a rushing river.
I wanted to let him listen to their stories, those that must feel close and familiar to him: Failing upon failing; hope in the horizon that rushes further away the more he tried to besiege it.
Chances long gone, life running short.
ignorance, desperation, desolation.
He didn’t get it at first. He just sat in the corner, looking to places far and away. He just curled up there as if he is tired, and he is tired all the time, all the way.
But whenever there is food, he sniffed enthusiastically upon his plate and finished whatever was there.
Whenever there were kids, running around like loose cannon, he turned his back and curl up to his sleep.
There was this spark in his eyes that I saw, three days after. There was some sort of a spirit that gave him power and a will to stand, then walk a few steps down for a bowl of fresh water.
There was this patch behind his ear that turned pink, and clean, and fresh; and I am sure there are more pink patches that will come.
Soon he’ll be new, I hope he’ll be new.
Soon he will look up, not down; soon he will be calling upon the sun, not grieving toward the river.
Soon, he will know he is home.