Captured By the Blue Fairy
Quiet, simple is what I knew about it then. I could give you a past; I could give you today or recall the history of everyday people who meant something into my next encounter. It was my vocation just to be and see what happened. I was traveling the streets of San Francisco, checking out stores and restaurants, writing and observing. I was revived on Market Street, cut as fresh as the yellow and white daffodils that bloomed in their gypsy garden carts.
How sweet is the bustle of 18 years of age?
How new and fascinating the faces were to me, however weathered or broken.
Their working days gone, old men, well beyond their present age, now sit in Union Square waiting for a hand out to buy another bottle of wine.
Above the lonely din hovered one man in particular. I sat beside a distinguished looking man who called himself Anthony. Though his clothes were ragged his stature still clung on to something upright.” What did you do for a living?” I asked. “You mean before I came to this disarrayed lifestyle of wine and begging?” He said self effacing about his current position.
“Once I worked for Disney. I made the trees dance.” His eyes wept silently, streaming in sea turtles tears of a life laid ruin in the wake of temperance lost. “I was married and had two children; they left me long ago.”
Around the corners of his mouth were hints of a smile that he must have used many times over once. I thought about how he was the one who made the branches move lyrically like a dancer. I saw twittering birds that flew all around in the balance of sweet air; the sun shinning up to him as he painted in the cells with liquid promise. His eyes must have been glimmering with enthusiasm. Now his only hope was that he could still remember a time before he became an alcoholic.
“There is always hope. There are shelters and programs in the mission where they can help you find a new beginning.” I told him.
“Yes I stay at one but it is not enough for me. I am just getting by, waiting for release; something to live for again,” he replied.
“How about living for yourself and the rest will come along.” I patted his shoulder and gave him ten dollars to, “get something to eat.”
“Thank you." He wiped away another huge tear, just like the one the turtle had in Alice in Wonderland. Then he looked into the blue sky as if he were reading his life up there, searching for a cloud to take him home.
I was just about to leave when a jazz trio of street musicians began to play ‘When You Wish upon a Star’. We sat peacefully together somewhere out of his present time as I sang along. “It makes no difference who you are.” I inwardly thought about how we all encounter a forest that either lurks to snag us with its scraggily pointed branches or wondrously courts our presence with loving welcome in a cricket's song.