Ron is a big brother, one of several siblings whom he has helped to raise. Ron is now waiting for some paperwork to be completed so that he can collect Social Security and some other benefits.
At 67, Ron didn’t expect to find himself out on the streets. He’s worked all his life. I can believe it: his eyes and his speech this morning were absolutely clear.
Ron told me that few people ever stop to talk with him. And fewer, still, understand just how hard street life is right now, in this brutal cold. Last week, the tip of his left ring finger had to be amputated because of severe frostbite (I saw the evidence). And so many, he observed, are just one paycheck away from living this life (his words).
After five bucks passed between us, Ron assured me that if he can ever do anything for me to just let him know. And that I can find him back here, tomorrow, at the 34th Street entrance at Penn Station if I do need him.
We shook on it.
An “I love you” was directed my way as I climbed the steps to grab a taxi to my office downtown.
And it all happened in about a New York minute.
Just listen . . .
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