November 18, 2008

His name is Theron - a true story experienced by Rha

His name is Theron. In a city where homeless and pan handling is as common as the trash which decorates the streets, he is a soul that often gets over looked and blends into the backdrop of the city. From the time I exited the Powell Bart station the cries and solicitation for change bombarded my ears. I pretended not to hear the pleas for spare change and when they were in my line of sight I turned my head to avoid making contact. I’m a generous person but for some reason I was not compelled to aid any of these souls who populated the streets with near empty cups weighted down by only a few coins. I sympathized with their struggle but felt no desire to help their situation. I kept moving. I was trying to get to Rassella’s in time to see my friend and her Jazz class perform.

I arrived early. I sat quietly at the bar with a black journal filled with my poetry/rhymes and abstract illustrations which have become my signature style. A glass of Anchor Steam Beer and a shot of whiskey with no ice accompanied me as I silently let the black ink of my pen find paths on the blank white page illuminated by the dimly lit atmosphere of the bar. My friend hadn’t expected anyone to show up and was pleasantly surprised to see me sitting at the bar as she rolled in with her classmates. She was even more surprised when my cousin and his finance arrived to support her too. The concert was cool. The class performed Stevie Wonder jams. Everyone loves Stevie!

After the performance I went to the Safeway parking lot and smoked with my home girl and 2 of her friends who I met for the first time that night. We felt close as if we have been homies for years. I commented on how good it felt that I was able to share this time and space with them and how scenes like this are what people go to the movies to see or open books to read. We we’re living what I felt was a scene from a movie only this was no movie. It was a beautiful moment happening in the Now. As I expressed how grateful I was to be a part of it we headed back to Rassella’s. I was in the back of the group and when I turned the corner I heard a voice coming from the street asking for change. This time I heard and listened. I stopped as my companions headed back to the spot. It was at this moment where I felt like I was guided and no longer had control over what was happening to me. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my pocket notebook which serves as my wallet and turned to the page where my money was. There were a bunch of 1 dollar bills but my fingers reached for the five and placed it in his cup.

His eyes lit up and a sound of appreciation and amazement escaped his lips. He stood up and took a few seconds trying to figure out how to express what he was feeling. I could see him searching for words or a response to accurately show his appreciation until he said “thank you” and “God bless you.” I walked towards him and said he was welcome and that “the Universe wants me to tell you that you are loved. You are supported and loved brother.” His eyes opened and the windows into his soul was revealed. I hugged him in a deep embrace and reassured him that he was loved and I placed my hand on his heart to remind him. I asked him his name and he said Theron. I told him that I would not forget him. I told him my name and when I heard him say “Rha” over and over with that glow in his face I felt that sensation of feeling at one with all existence. In his face I saw my reflection, in his face I saw the reflection of my younger brother Tavon and I saw the reflection of that Supreme Being that many call God. We embraced for a while and had a silent communication. Giving and receiving became One. Stranger and friend became One. He and I became One.

When I walked away I felt my spirit slowly trying to integrate back into my body. I was exhausted and my heart was beating fiercely. My hands were shaking. One of the girls walked to me and held my hand. I didn’t recognize her at first because I was still out of body. When I got back to Rassella’s I stood quietly to myself trying to process what just happened. My eyes started to tear as the live music and lounge atmosphere dissolved around me. When we left the joint Theron was gone. At least we thought so until we turned the corner and he was sitting on a bench eating a Subway sandwich. He wasn’t a junkie or trying to get boozes. This brother was just trying to eat. He stood up again and we embraced again. As we parted he said my name over and over with nodding head movements of approval and gratitude. I was grateful to him because I received more from that encounter than the $5 bill I presented him with. Life is amazing. All is full of Love.