The man in Paris



There is a man sitting on a step under the window of our cafe. He smiles at everyone who passes, some smile back. Beside him is a wheelie bag, the kind my mother takes to SuperValu to do her shopping. The man is probably my age although he looks older. Just now a woman passing gave him two cigarettes and he is smoking one. Earlier he waved at the assistant in the housewares shop across the road and the assistant waved back.


(Here comes the sun)

He seems content and he’s definitely making a positive impact on the people who see him. He probably doesn’t have much money. He may not know where he will spend tonight or tomorrow night. He may be cold. He may be hungry. He may not have a lot of friends. He may be lonely. He may be tired. But he doesn’t look worried or busy. He looks kinda happy.


(Peek inside someone else’s life…)

I’m thinking of that man today as I rush about with little jobs to fill my fridge, my diary, my head. As I worry if I’ll have enough time to do everything for the big day. Will I get to post the cards? Ring the aunts? Clean the bathroom? Will there be enough food? Will there be enough chocolate? As I make lists and lists and rush from one appointment to the next, am I any better off than the man sitting under the window of the cafe?

With all my worldly goods and comfort am I any happier than him? Mairead.