Another week has begun.
Our alarm clock woke me from a deep sleep with a punch of noise that, on this morning, instantly made my head hurt. My dreams were still jumbled in my head and I took some Excedrin and gulped down some water and lay there for less than 5 minutes, taking deep breaths, determined to get out of bed and get on the treadmill before work.
And after I pushed myself out of bed, into my workout clothes and churned through a good workout, my head pain lessened. Locked on auto-pilot, I showered and got ready for work and was out the door. Sunglasses on, music turned up loud and feeling thankful that the traffic was light, I cruised down the freeway.
As I neared downtown, I braked to a stop behind a line of slow moving traffic and crept for a few minutes--what was everyone slowing down for? An accident? A disabled car? And then I saw it. In the distance, standing on one of the bridges crossing over the freeway, I could make out the silhouette of a man...was he sitting on the rail? No, please, don't jump. Was he standing? Leaning? As my car rolled closer, I could see him better. He was standing, facing the oncoming traffic. An empty grocery cart was next to him. Homeless, perhaps?
Suddenly, he raised his hands above his heads and formed a V with his outstretched arms and made "peace signs" with both hands. He stood there motionless as my car passed under the bridge and the traffic ahead of me sped up.
I was shaken up and barely remember the short drive left. As I rolled into the parking garage at my office, I wondered:
What did this mean? What was he trying to say? Was he feeling invisible? Was this the cry for help of a man that no one understood? Had he stopped making sense and people stopped listening?
As unsettling as it felt to me, I wondered if maybe he was just a man who paused on his walk to offer a message to his audience.