Monday, September 21, 2009

No Legs and The Food Stinks

No buttocks, no legs, no problem. Except for the food.

Meet Jose R. who's missing a body from the waist down. I met him last year on Roosevelt Island where I offered him a "push'. On his permanent gurney, (he can't turn over nor sit up.) Jose wheels himself around the island for exercise and a way to break the tedium of hospital life. I ran into Jose today outside a bodega where he was hoping that some kind soul would buy him a turkey sandwich on rye with mustard and lettuce. I asked him if the hospital where he lives feeds him and he said he can't eat "that stuff" anymore. "I'm sick of it. Would you please buy me a sandwich?"

This is the third time we've shared more than salutations and I've never heard Jose complain about anything until now. No legs, no buttocks and all he can find to complain about is institutional food? I don't know but if it were me on that stain soaked gurney I'd have a whole lot more to wail about than beige hospital food. Maybe that's why our paths crossed today. Maybe the Universe or the Grand Station Master heard my pitiful grips and said, 'you think you got problems, check this guy out, again.' It's true, I do need to be reminded from time-to-time. Not often but now and then. We forget sometimes just how good we have it and then a Jose rolls by to snap us out of our mournful abyss.

After I gave him a dollar towards his sandwich, Jose said, "Cheer up, it's a beautiful day."
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