Monday, January 13, 2014

I want to share with you a story and a poem prompted by the story but first I want to say that the dogs and cats of the Yucatan would appreciate your help with the ongoing and upcoming spay and neuter clinics.  Your donations of time, food, money, water, old blankets, towels, newspaper, cardboard, paper towels, etc would be sooooooooo much appreciated.  
Always and forever are the needs of the shelters for your assistance of your time, food and donations!

The other morning I opened the door out to the street just to look up and down the street.  Always nice to see what's happening.
We have a tope just a few meters away from the front of the house.  It's one of those that is humped in the middle and it is very abrupt so everyone slows down for it.
Sitting right in front of the tope and next to the curb is an old man hunched over in a wheel chair.  His clothes were tattered, his back and spine were bent to one side and, well, I just got the feeling that he and the wheel chair had been together for a very long time.
The front wheels were against the tope and lying right beside him on the sidewalk is a street dog.  I could see patches of mange, a crooked ear, and a few ribs were showing.  Neither of them moving.  Friends? I didn't know.
I leaned against the doorway watching and carrying on an inner I go see if he needs or wants help to get over the tope?  Is he from this area?  I haven't seen him before.  The dog doesn't look familiar either but there are so many.  Did he come down the street by mistake and can't maneuver over the tope?  Is the dog his?  Will it try to protect him from this tall white dude?  A few minutes went by and still no movement.  Maybe he is just napping.......I wonder if he's dead?
I look up the street, no cars coming.  
Then his arms drop to the wheels and he slowly turns the chair to the left.  The dog gets up and looks to see what's going on.
Without looking up the calle the man slowly propels the chair parallel along the tope.  The dog walks along on the tope itself.  Now I can see his face and he is old, his face weathered but no sign of discomfort from moving the chair.  I wonder if he was one of those guys that used to unload the supply trucks at construction sites where they would carry two bags of sand or gravel at a time....which I still find totally amazing....and did he get hurt?  Is that the reason for the chair?  The bent back?
At about two thirds along the tope there is a spot where the cap is missing so the height is reduced by about three inches.  At that point the man turns the chair to face the tope.  The dog stops beside the wheelchair but doesn't sit.
More inner dialogue starts again as I wonder if I should now go over and help him to cross over the tope.  I hesitate as there is this machoness here and sometimes help that isn't asked for is not wanted and sometimes not appreciated.  I have first hand experience with it.  I go to my fallback position which is, he gets three chances and then I assist.  
I look up the street, no cars coming.
His first attempt got the smaller front wheels on top of the tope.  The dog was now straddling the tope.  The second attempt failed.  The dog stood still.  The third attempt got the back wheels on the tope and with an extra effort he was over.  The dog beside the chair.
Still no cars!
Without knowing I had moved. I found myself standing at the curb. Always strange how that happens.
I watched as they slowly moved over closer to the curb, dog at his side, as they went down the calle and turned at the corner and they were gone.
A car passed by. Tears rolled down my cheeks.
Was it his dog?  I don't know and probably never will.  But if even for a small period of time I know the dog was pleased to be with someone that didn't judge or show a mean hand.  But kindred spirits they most certainly were connected by all that life had laid at their feet.

No, I'm not a writer but I think certain things can bring out the writer or poet in someone.  This and the fact that I seem to be getting more emotional as I get older and things are affecting me more.

“I AM READY”.............the unspoken wish.

I am ready to go with you,
I am ready rain or shine,

I am ready to stand with you,
I am ready to sit with you

I am ready to share your sadness
I am ready to comfort you

I am ready to make you smile
I am ready to see you smile at me

I am ready to try so much harder
I am ready to do better and I will

I am ready to know you're there for me
I am ready to always be there for you

I am ready to feel your caress
I am ready to feel your love

I am ready to share my life with you
I am ready to commit forever

I am ready for you to want me
I am ready for you to care for me

I am ready to go home with you
I am ready to get off the street!

Tom Kuhn
January 2014


John Bradshaw said...

Tom,you should blog more!! I really enjoyed reading this.

Working Gringa said...

Ohhhhh... thank you for putting words to the pain of seeing something like that. I can certainly identify.

Lee Steele said...

Beautiful and touching. I'm so glad you shared this.

Jan Morgan said...

Wonderfully written, Tom! thanks for sharing

Debi in Merida said...

brought tears to my eyes, so glad I didn't actually see it, except through your eyes!
Thanks for sharing the story.