Friday, May 21, 2010

The Snub

The Location: Hollywood Transit Center
The Activity: Waiting for the Max
The Time: Between the hours of 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The Audience: Randoms from the outskirts of Portland
The Snubee: Yours truly.
The Snuber: One homeless man in a wheelchair

There I stood. Waiting in the frigid night air of Portland that is sometimes called "spring". Waiting for the Max that the electronic signed labeled arriving in: 3 minutes. I was listening to the eerie tunes of Brand New, and pondering existence. To my right was a young fellow, probably in high school, on his phone constantly. He was wearing sweats and held a gym bag for dear life in his right hand, at one point he pulled out a water bottle much like Big Red, but could more aptly be called, Silver Bullet. To my left was a boy in his early twenties, a little overweight, sitting on a bench. He was extremely nice, everytime I looked over there with my soul-searching eyes (again, I was contemplating deep, meaningful subjects) he would smile, quite pleasantly. A little farther down on the left was a tall girl, long hair, headphones, pretty. Cool clothes, we would catch each other's eye sometimes, there were no polite smiles, but in the same token, there was no hostility eiher. Just looks.
A Max headed towards the city center pulled up, and it's contents were spilled haphazardly onto the platform. Among the trimet consumers was a man, in a wheelchair. Dirty clothes, dirty hair, dirty complexion. He rolled over to the athletics advocate on my right, and I didn't hear what passed between them, but the man had his hand held out, expectantly. The younger of the two took out his wallet, looked in, mouthed sorry and shook his head. The man moved on. I was next. I looked at him and smiled slightly, and truly I was planning to give him a dollar, I thought of my brother, Matt, who once told me, "I budget about five dollars a week just to give to the bums." (it could've been a little different than that, but the compassion was there none the less). The man in the chair looked at me, I looked at him. He stopped his shuffle-rolling of the wheelchair. We looked again. He turned around and went around the back of the glass divider for the two directions the Max arrived at. He stopped at the pretty cool tall girl, she shook her head. He rolled up to my left side and asked the twentyish boy who was sitting not two feet away from me. Again, he was rejected, dejected. Again, I waited for my turn. We looked. He rolled away.
It could have been the temperature, but as I watched him sholl (shuffle-roll) away, I felt my heart get a little colder.