Thursday, February 17, 2005

It was a little over a year ago that I met a man named George (name changed). I met him in a bus depot in New Mexico on my way to visit Jenn in Colorado for Valentine’s Day. It was about 7am or so and I had just gotten off a bus that had taken me through a blizzard outside of Amarillo, TX. Needless to say being on a Greyhound Bus in a blizzard at 2am is not my idea of a good time, but it was worth it. Anyway…I sat down after walking around the bus depot for a while and a young looking Hispanic man sat down about 10 feet away from me. He looked like your average guy just waiting for a bus. After about 10 minutes or so of just sitting there (I was reading a book) he asked me if I knew which terminal the bus to Roswell was departing. I was unsure, but after looking around I noticed a board with the terminal numbers and departure times. I read him the one for Roswell. The bus for Roswell was not departing until late in the afternoon, so I joked with the man that he had a long time to wait. He said he did not mind because early that day he was released from prison, and he was going home to Roswell to see his fiancĂ© and kids. He seemed very excited to be going home, but he also was very reserved and humble. After a few minutes of silence, he struck up a conversation with me that lasted for a better part of an hour. I do not remember everything we talked about, but I do remember thinking to myself how a person like this, a hardworking person who obviously loved his family and the Lord could get sent to prison. He never told me why he went to prison, but he hinted enough that it was drug related. A few months before he was arrested he was laid off. I know Roswell was and is not experiencing an economic boom, so I could only imagine how tough it would be to have a family and get laid off in a small town. After talking for a while longer, I noticed that my bus was getting ready to leave. I left George with a pack of gum and some beef jerky (he commented on how long it had been since he had a piece of gum). As I said goodbye, I walked away a changed person. Rarely do I have the opportunity to meet “real people”. I spend my days with privileged. Sometimes I wonder if I can do this for the rest of my life.

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