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Passions in Poetry

Taco Bell Coffee

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Larry C
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since 09-10-2001
Posts 10765
United States


0 posted 04-03-2003 12:00 AM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

The clouds hung low seeping rain drops into everything and it was cold. He had entered Taco Bell for a reprieve and a coffee that must have been average. It was the ninety-nine cent meal that brought me in. The dining area was crowded. Yet people found enough tables to keep their distance from him. While waiting in that long line I had plenty of time to assess my strategy.

All of the plastic lining hung from the hem of his jacket to below his knees. There wasn’t a chance of any insulation being left in that once discarded coat. Still it was his source of protection. Evidence of his homelessness was plain in both his odor and his appearance. Jeans stiff with grime. Matted hair distracting from his stubbled face. And eyes that stared into no future. The void between him and anyone else was understandable.

My dad taught me compassion. And if it didn’t apply now it seemed to be of no value at all. I took my tray and requested his permission to sit at his table. His demeanor made it very clear I had not done him any favors. I found in him no interest for pity. And even less interest in trivial conversation. Companionship was not a need he shared.

The only common ground I could think to pursue was his need. There was a jacket in my closet that I dearly loved. Many pockets with sleeves that zipped off. So special that I rarely could find a good excuse to wear it. No wonder it was in such fine condition. I felt compelled to offer it in place of the rag he wore as a coat. We agreed to meet the following day at lunch.

It seemed odd to have such eager anticipation for lunch with a homeless man I didn’t know. And tucking a twenty dollar bill in the smallest of many pockets made it seem like Christmas without wrapping paper. So I settled for a Taco Bell meal two days in a row and kept my appointment.

I quickly assumed he would not come. It was uncomfortable to sit at the table on another cold, wet day with an extra coat. Without any conversation he slipped into the seat at my table, catching me by surprise. He had not acquired a fresh need for conversation or companionship. And the evidence of his homelessness seemed to increase. As quickly as I handed him the coat he fled. Out the door and across the street into the colorless damp day.

About a year later I again had that occasional need for a ninety-nine cent meal. So I hit the Taco Bell drive-thru. The squawk box accepted my order. While waiting at the window I could see a tall man from the other side of the counter placing an order for a meal in the dining room. He was jumping up and down and waving at me. The huge smile on his clean shaven face looked vaguely familiar. I politely returned his greeting and was impressed by his handsome appearance. As I drove away it came flooding back to me…it was that homeless man I had shared twenty dollars and a jacket with. He had been shouting to me: “I got a job! I got a job!”

© Copyright 2003 Larry Chadwick - All Rights Reserved
kaile
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singapore


1 posted 04-03-2003 12:25 AM       View Profile for kaile   Email kaile   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for kaile

yippe i cast the first vote!

Mysteria
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since 03-07-2001
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British Columbia, Canada


2 posted 04-03-2003 02:58 AM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Whoo Hoooo, I cast the second vote, but wish I had been first   What an excellent story Larry, and I love those happy endings.
Rex Allen McCoy
Member Elite
since 01-30-2000
Posts 2636
Sippin a Timmy's in London


3 posted 04-03-2003 08:34 AM       View Profile for Rex Allen McCoy   Email Rex Allen McCoy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Rex Allen McCoy's Home Page   View IP for Rex Allen McCoy

Well worth the read ... and most certainly worthy of the book

Tammy Blessing
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since 08-26-2002
Posts 374
PA


4 posted 04-03-2003 09:08 AM       View Profile for Tammy Blessing   Email Tammy Blessing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tammy Blessing

Oh Larry, this is just a wonderful story!! I only hope that it makes it into the book and compels more people to make small offerings to those less fortunate. Thanks for sharing this.
Tammy
Nan
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since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


5 posted 04-03-2003 09:29 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

I certainly agree...
Sunshine
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Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


6 posted 04-03-2003 09:45 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


Yes!  I knew when I read this in Prose that this was a   Woohoo!

        Karilea - If I whisper, will you listen?...

Earth Angel
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since 08-27-2002
Posts 40647
Realms of Light


7 posted 04-03-2003 10:10 AM       View Profile for Earth Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Earth Angel's Home Page   View IP for Earth Angel

You are a raconteur supreme! Your talent knows no limits! I am sure that this will rack up the votes required to have this gem between the covers of Reflections!



Love & Light,
Linda
Charisma
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lost in blue pages


8 posted 04-03-2003 02:29 PM       View Profile for Charisma   Email Charisma   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Charisma's Home Page   View IP for Charisma

WOW what a splendid write.....off course you got my vote for this beauty

Charisma
BSC
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since 02-04-2000
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New York, USA


9 posted 04-03-2003 02:33 PM       View Profile for BSC   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for BSC

Wonderful write Larry ~ Enjoyed from first to last.  Bonnie
Joyce Johnson
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since 03-10-2001
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Washington State


10 posted 04-03-2003 03:14 PM       View Profile for Joyce Johnson   Email Joyce Johnson   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Joyce Johnson

I love it and vote for it to be included.  Joyce
Pilgrimage
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since 12-04-2001
Posts 3905
Texas, USA


11 posted 04-03-2003 03:15 PM       View Profile for Pilgrimage   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Pilgrimage

Larry, this one made me tear up, in a good way. Great story!

Nan (Pilgrim variety)

Enchantress
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since 08-14-2001
Posts 37801
Somewhere in time~


12 posted 04-03-2003 06:11 PM       View Profile for Enchantress   Email Enchantress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Enchantress

Love this Larry...gets my vote!

~Somewhere in my heart I'm always
dancing with you in the summer rain~

Mistletoe Angel
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since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


13 posted 04-03-2003 06:21 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



(big hugggssssssss) Oh Larry, this is wonderful, dearest friend, and it is all because of you that you have brought this special person hope and encouragement, you should be so proud of yourself and give yourself a big hug! (smiles) Yay, this MUST be in the book as this "reflects" the compassionate giving heart you have, we all love you so much! You have such a beautiful heart, sweet Larry, thank you for sharing!



May love and light always shine upon you!

Love,
Noah Eaton

"Underneath your clothes there's an endless story..."

Shakira

Janet Marie
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since 01-22-2000
Posts 18986


14 posted 04-03-2003 07:30 PM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

We need prose in the book...
we need your compassion and insight in our daily thoughts.

"and when we get to the pearly gates ...
we'll find what we called our sins were just mistakes."

Tom Kimmel

BluesSerenade
Member Rara Avis
since 10-23-2001
Posts 9867
By the Seaside


15 posted 04-03-2003 07:45 PM       View Profile for BluesSerenade   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for BluesSerenade

a little kindness goes a long way...
and sometimes even further!!

You are so full of compassion Larry~

This was a wonderful telling!!!
Larry C
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Member Patricius
since 09-10-2001
Posts 10765
United States


16 posted 04-04-2003 12:13 AM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

kaile,
Thanks pal. It is much appreciated!  

Sharon,
I don't have near the exposure to homeless that you do but was amazed at such an outcome. And bless you for the vote.  

Rex,
Thank you kind sir. Much appreciated.

Tammy,
Thank you for your kindness.

Nan,
I'm grateful for your support. Thanks.

Karilea,
Awww, you are always so kind to me. Thanks.


Linda,
"raconteur supreme". I wonder if Ron will use that as one of the titles acquired with the posting count? Thanks.

Charisma,
Thank you, thank you.

Bonnie,
Such kind words. Thanks.

Joyce,
Thank you very much.

Nan,
Your encouragement is much appreciated.

Nancy Lee,
Thanks dear friend.  

Noah,
No pride in it. I am, however, surprised and humbled that such a simple act may have done so much. And thank you always for your support.

JM,
You're the best. You are so good to me. Thanks.

Bluesiegirl,
I love being able to count on you...


If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

[This message has been edited by Larry C (04-04-2003 12:13 AM).]

kaile
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since 02-06-2000
Posts 5323
singapore


17 posted 04-04-2003 10:00 PM       View Profile for kaile   Email kaile   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for kaile

a healthy bump never hurts anyone
lorenlynn
Member
since 01-27-2003
Posts 205
California Beaches


18 posted 04-04-2003 11:02 PM       View Profile for lorenlynn   Email lorenlynn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for lorenlynn

My vote is in - hooray!!!!!!
SPIRIT
Senior Member
since 12-29-2002
Posts 1778
California Desert


19 posted 04-04-2003 11:38 PM       View Profile for SPIRIT   Email SPIRIT   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SPIRIT

Absolutely super!
Larry C
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since 09-10-2001
Posts 10765
United States


20 posted 04-05-2003 12:07 AM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

kaile,
So true and so kind. Thanks.

lorenlynn,
Thank you so much!

SPIRIT,
Wow, thanks.

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

Bill Charles
Member Patricius
since 07-11-2000
Posts 11011
highways, & byways, for now


21 posted 04-05-2003 12:22 AM       View Profile for Bill Charles   Email Bill Charles   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bill Charles

Larry - a most heart warming write, I do like this. My vote...

BC
waldopepper
Member
since 03-18-2003
Posts 164
Tennessee, USA


22 posted 04-05-2003 02:03 AM       View Profile for waldopepper   Email waldopepper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for waldopepper

I have to agree with everyone Larry.  This story is completely appropriate for publication, for it's about the things that bring out the best in all of us.  Thanks for sharing these wonderful words.
suthern
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since 07-29-99
Posts 20770
on the threshold of a dream


23 posted 04-08-2003 02:09 PM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

This is so well-written I didn't want for it to end. *S* And then, what a smile the ending gave! *S* What a wonderful way of reminding us that one person, one act... can make a difference. *S*
Magicmystery
Senior Member
since 02-13-2002
Posts 935
Windsor, Ontario, Canada


24 posted 04-08-2003 02:25 PM       View Profile for Magicmystery   Email Magicmystery   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Magicmystery's Home Page   View IP for Magicmystery

ON casting my vote (i think this incredible piece of writing should be in our next book)
Larry, This one made me tear up... I know I am joining a long line of choked up readers too.  I like what you have done here.  And it dragged up memories of when I was in nearly the same position, hanging around the downtown mission for a meal, scrounging butts cleaning out ashtrays,to make a rollie (cigarette)
It was a long time ago but you never forget where you've been, and shouldn't.... But for the grace of God go I. This world needs more of those random selfless acts of kindness.

Love, Light and Peace,

Sherry

Cherish the good memories of the past and look forward to the adventure called Tomorrow. But above all... be kind to yourself today.

Larry C will be notified of replies
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