To Break Through.
He just started talking, like I had known him for ages. Like I was the long lost friend that he just found. Like I knew what high school he went to, and which college. He just started talking. In reality, I didn't know him at all. I couldn't tell you what color his rather unruly hair was, or whose name meandered along his bicep. He did not make an impression. He simply existed as a monotone base, maybe a low G note, buzzing along next to me.
Most people bother me. EXPECIALLY the ones who talk a lot. But not this man. At first, the familiarity with which he carried on that highly one-sided conversation unnerved me, so I didn't really pay attention.
"I'm sorry, I can't recall your name." I finally gathered the courage to say.
He ignored me.
Everything about him was unremarkable. His shoes were off brand, along with his jeans and plain T-shirt. They were so boring that they must have been knock-offs of knock-offs. He camoflauged so well with his surroundings that I almost missed the one important thing about him. He wore a wooden bracelet on his left wrist, black with age and sweat. This one blemish upon his blase facade enlightened me. He was, in fact, not a stranger, but a person who looked a whole lot like one.
The best friend that suffered more than anybody should.
The homeless man on my doorstep.
The refugee in my backyard.
The child held hostage by school shooter after school shooter.
On second thought, he was a perfect stranger. I had never met this Messiah. He did not come with halo glowing, or trumpets shouting. He came creeping. He came crawling. He came weeping for the brothers and sisters he so desperately wanted to save. He came a strange man in an unexpected outfit, engaging in an unexpected non-conversation about something I can't remember.
Oh yes, I had run screaming away from him every chance I got because he represented all that was hard about the world, for there is nothing more difficult than breaking through the apathy.