Thursday 9 December 2021

Coronavirus streets in Cape Town - LI

Rich as could be seen

A Bentley coupe was about to turn into the road in front of me and at the steering wheel was a man with the gentility of rich sophistication, he could have used an eau de Cologne of crisp new currency notes, that he might be described as stinking rich.

It was the highly understated art of making a statement, nothing showy, yet to the eye unmistakably posh. To all appearances on his way from one place to another, not in a rush or hurry to get anywhere.

Poor as could be warmed

A man in a wheelchair, just out of the way on a wide pavement minding his own business and a stranger wraps a jacket around him, a gift, from an angel, a present it was, and sounds of gratitude rent the morning air as one good deed brings warmth and a new lesson of our common humanity.

For on these streets, destitution resides like it has been here a long time with title deeds and not leaving anytime soon. For one man crossed the main road to pick up a discarded used face mask which he then puts on, I cannot tell if he had to, to access premises demanding that precautionary measure. I make a mental note to always have spare face masks on my person.

Needs as could be met

A lady gestures to me, mumbling something incomprehensible even as the message of need cannot be misunderstood. I dip in my pocket and produce a high-value note that I hand to her. She bursts into tears. I do not wait to comfort her, but I pray a silent prayer that we all find places to shed the tears of thankfulness.

We live to give blessings, we belong to one another, for the lack in one is a slack that affects all, even the advice that we contribute to charities does not seem to affect or touch the people me meet on our streets seeking a basic handout for food and sustenance. The pretence of a safety net being available to help assuage our sense of guilt and duty is all that, a pretence because if it did go far, we probably would rarely have such encounters.

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