FRANCIS OF ASSISI

5

 “So, we spent a whole day here but managed to catch only one porgy,” my dad says, taking the fish cage out of the water. “Should we take it home, or better to let it go and let it swim?”

 “Let’s take it,” I grudgingly respond.

 “Fine,” he agrees, “then let’s get ready; it’s time to go home.”

We pack the fishing gear and walk through the grove to our car along the path. We pass the tent of the homeless alcoholic. He is sitting on the ground, his legs half in and half out, shaking strangely without even looking our way.

 “Aaah!” he suddenly lets out a bloodcurdling scream, falling to the ground with his face on the stones and branches. “Mmm … hrrrrr…” he wheezes gasping for air.

My father places his bag on the ground and quickly approaches him. Squatting down next to the homeless man, he turns him onto his side and then throws away few empty metal cans next to him to avoid cutting his face. I’m standing a few feet away; I see that the tramp’s face is covered in blood, dirt, and leaves. The man is wheezing and continuing to shake. His legs are convulsing like a frog that has just been struck with a stone. My dad takes out his cell and makes a call. “I don’t know his name; he looks to be around fifty. He is homeless. He appears to be having an epileptic seizure. Will you come soon? Okay, I will wait here.”

 

6

We are in the car headed home. The scene of the paramedics putting the tramp on the stretcher, tying him down with belts, and carrying him to the open ambulance plays out in front of my eyes. He is sick, dark, filthy, and scary.

 “We should’ve given him our fish,” my dad said, breaking at the turn. It seemed he was upset by something.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus