- (being_homeless) wrote in operation_smile,

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Unforgetable moments

I made somebody smile today. Someone I had never seen smile.

He's one of the many homeless in Harvard Square. He sits there day after day, month after month, year after year. I used to sleep outside with him. We'd lay there at night trying to stay warm looking at the stars, talking until we fell asleep. He'd often cry himself to sleep.

He's been really down lately. He's dying. He's refused treatment because he doesn't know what's worth living for. I sit with him alot for a few minutes here and there so that he isn't always alone. Sometimes we talk. Sometimes we sit in silence watching as people pass by. It just feels good to not sit alone.

I found a small giftbag when I was cleaning, a new travel toothbrush and some toothpaste. It put it in the bag, wrote a note and brought it with me to the square. I needed to get laundry money so I went to CVS to buy something on my debit card to get cash back. So I got a bottle of water, and a marshmellow santa claus and put it in the bag for him.

I walked over to his usual spot and sat down next to him. I told him, "I brought you something," and handed him the bag. He looked at it, pulled out the santa candy, and looked me in the eye and smiled.

That was the first time I had ever had eye contact with him. He always looks at the ground. I've never seen him give anyone eye contact. I've given him stuff before- soda, cocoa, coffee, water, sandwiches, etc. He says thank you but never looks at me.

I sat with him for a minute and told him I had to go meet up with someone, but that I wanted him to have a good day.

His eyes glistened with tears as he looked at the santa candy as though it brought back some sort of memory for him. When I walked by a few minutes later, he was slowly nibbling it- as if to make it last forever.

I can't tell you what it did for me today to see that man smile. He is someone I really care alot for. My heart breaks everytime I see him sitting there so alone. I've always wanted to do something to make him smile. Or to at least let him know that he's loved. I didn't know that all it would take was a 49 cent santa shaped piece of chocolate. 49 cents for the chocolate, the smile on his face was priceless.
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