Encounter On A Street Corner
"I knew a man once. He was what anyone would call somebody. He made something of himself." The stranger explained this to me with a force in his voice that left little room to doubt the authenticity of the information.
"The man went from what most might call humble beginnings to really accomplish great things, though ..." and now there was hesitation in the tone "only historians and cultural buffs will be able to tell you his name and feats ten years from now. Shame."
The man twitched, shifted his stance, as to reaffirm his own belief. "You know how lucky I am? I got to know someone who made it to the top. He even called me by my first name - twice! They say he was bad at names but he remembered mine. Stood as close to me as I am to you and said my name - twice! Never mind that in the end, the weight of success crushed his spirit. Too much to handle. Poor man. All that fame ... wasted."
The man drifted into his own abyss of what might have been and I watched as he abruptly broke off the conversation, proceeded on his way, against the light, crossing from one corner to the next with an undeserved haughtiness that made me pity him, albeit, for one brief second. The encounter was all forgettable; the changing lights, the man walking into the sound of a honking horn, the mysterious human who epitomized the pinnacle of his existence, the very street corner itself which was tagged by a Future Construction sign.
I knew a man once. I met him on a street corner. He apparently judged himself by low standards and the elbows he rubbed. But the brief encounter reminded me that time washes away the footprints we leave - whether or not you ever knew such a man.