The article that never made it… until today
Articles or stories from newspapers or books are for us writers like our newborn children.
That’s perhaps why we are so jealous of protecting their beauty and innocence.
I wrote my first article worth the ink in the pen I used and the paper where I wrote it, a long time before it could become part of my “Point of View” family, and it lay unmolested in one of my drawers for that time.
It was a story about a typical homeless man who spent his days panhandling and wandering aimlessly around the city extending his arms to strangers going by who might or might not drop a few coins into his ragged hat. I entitled the story “In God We Trust” in recognition of the motto engraved on all U.S. coins since 1938 and obviously on those this fellow assiduously collected.
He was a familiar face and most passersby recognized him on their way to work of one kind or another and later during the day on their trip back home to families and friends. Everyone wondered how this guy who seemed unclean, wore the same old hat, and rumpled clothes could make a decent living. They didn’t realize that he depended entirely on the few coins that most of the strangers who met him were willing to drop generously in his collection box.
The ones who had consistently met him, have heard that he had been a successful businessman whose luck had run out. Some even heard that one woman had been the cause of his fall but, of course, women have been blamed for men’s troubles from the day the first sentences of Genesis were written, by a masculine scribe, a long time ago.
Wasn’t a young female called Eve the one who had placed an eternal curse on the medical profession by claiming that “An Apple a day” keeps the medicine witch men away? It took another idle man called Adam to believe that warning.
Our friend the panhandler would “close shop” around six o’clock or so when most of his “clients” were already safer at home feeling “good’ for doing their duty by giving him a few coins. He would then sit down and take every coin and wipe it clean and look closely at the old motto “In God We Trust.” He thought that they felt good by their gesture of empathy, not questioning the rest of their complex lives because a few simple words engraved on a coin would give meaning to their otherwise meaningless existence.
And tomorrow, of course, it would be more of the same.
And that was my point of view a long time ago. And it’s the same today. What happens to time? So long.