Apple Cores and Miyuki on the Beach
I was walking with Dirah and Arif to Musashi for our committee dinner last night and we passed that park across Central towards Campbell Street.
We were so engrossed in our conversation that we failed to see the old man under the tree. Well, they did. I didn't. I saw him. With his faded, checkered shirt, his hunch, his thick glasses and bald pate.
He was standing in the midst of birds under a huge tree and he was scattering half eaten fruits to feed them. I saw him and I felt a pang in my heart. I'm not sure why. Because he was alone? Because he was feeding the birds? Because he was too lonely that his only friends were the birds he fed?
I was listening to Arif's jokes but I couldn't keep my eyes off the old man. I kept turning back to look at him, busy flinging apple cores in a 2 meter radius.
I wanted to point this sight out to my companions but I didn't want to disrupt their train of thoughts. So I stole one last glance and left the old man in the faded checkered shirt with his birds.
If I wanted to be logical and realistic, I'd say that he was either crazy or he just believed in recycling. But I chose to use my heart (the one that felt that pang) and think that he was just a lonely old soul seeking comfort in the company of birds who were probably the only ones who appreciates whatever he offers.
I'm kinda afraid I'd end up like that one day. l'd be old and lonely with only animals for company. All those people I've been friends with when I was younger are all gone or busy. Sigh.