The most blessed man in the world
The world’s most blessed man lives in New York.
He also happens to be homeless.
“Rugger” the blessed homeless man was about to cross the street. The traffic light turned yellow.
“You will be safe,” whispers a voice to him.
“The light shines brightly on you,” whispers another.
“Stop bothering me,” Rugger mutters to himself, swatting his hands at the air in an attempt to chase the voices away. A couple of passersby walked hurriedly away from him.
A car in the distance was trying to beat the red light, and sped up. It dashed past the light, and harmlessly passed behind Rugger, who was still slowly crossing the road. The pedestrian light turned green.
There is a long line already at the soup kitchen, as the volunteers at dish out lunch. He approaches the front, and receives a sandwich. “Sorry, that was the last one. We’re out. You’ll have to go elsewhere for food,” said the volunteer to the person after Rugger. That person curses. Rugger eats his sandwich and readies himself for the day.
Rugger calls the steps of a church along Lexington his home. Every day, he wakes up, and is immediately filled with a sense of un-direction – there is nothing pressing in his world that he has to do. Sure, he has to eat, and probably hustle for change, but they can be done sooner as later. Apparently it was already lunch time, but what does time mean to a person who has nothing to do?
Rugger looks around to be in his fifties; who can tell? Every day passes him by just like the day before, and the day before that, and tomorrow, and the day after. Rugger might have been called “John” or “Adam” once, but he doesn’t remember. Heck, he doesn’t even know why he’s called “Rugger.”
But unbeknownst to him, he is the world most blessed. He has perfect health, maybe not-so-perfect hygiene, but he has not fallen sick in years, and suffers not even from a toothache or acne.
“SICK AND HOMELESS. ANY HELP GOES A LONG WAY. GOD BLESS.” Rugger’s cardboard reads simply; some of his peers claimed to be down-and-out war veterans, or needing change to get out of town and back home when they’ve never even seen the light of war or have a home to go back to. Why bother to spin such fancy tales? It’s not like people are actually reading the signs closely. He gets just about as much change as anyone else, even with his minimal effort cardboard signs. Rugger falls asleep.
Sometimes, he wishes he would never wake up from when he goes to sleep. But even with sleeping out in on the steps, or on benches, even in the dead of winter, Rugger always wakes up the next day with nary a frostbite.
Waiting for coins to fall from above is not a solitary affair for Rugger – he is swamped by voices he keeps hearing even as a quarter occasionally drops into his cup.
“Favoured one, rest easy. Your journey will be smooth-sailing,” another whisper.
“Nothing will touch you.”
“No harm shall come to you.”
“Just let me sleep, you buggers,” uttered Rugger.
And in this vein, Rugger sits, having to endure these whispers of endearing protection.
He needed to take a leak. He got up, to a corner and peed at a scaffolding. He heard people yelling at him from the construction workers above. He ignored them, as they were gesticulating wildly at him. He was done, and left, and a bucket containing mixed cement fell at the spot he was at a couple seconds ago. It landed with a loud KRNK. Rugger did not even notice it, for he was slowly ambling back to his spot.
“You are destined for greatness, O blessed one,” says a voice to Rugger.
“Oh yeah?” said Rugger to no one in particular. “What’s so great about this?”
“You live! That is life’s greatest blessing!”
“What kind of blessing is this when every day is lived without purpose? I wake up, I eat, I sit, I shit. And then I go back to sleep and wake up to the same thing again next morning. You say I’m blessed, but I don’t see it.”
“Blessings are not seen with the eyes, they are felt by the mind. When you only look around you, you cannot see, because you do not know what you are supposed to see, yet you will keep casting your sights in the wrong direction hoping to catch a glimpse.”
“Whatever, you’re a whole lot of crap.” And with that, Rugger went back to sleep, for tomorrow to start itself anew.