i stopped at a red light on a hectic street, taking a look at my phone for anything urgent, when a sound startled me. i looked in my rear view mirror thinking initially someone had rear-ended me. nothing there except a car at its proper distance. but out of the corner of my eye - two lanes over, i noticed a man and woman on the sidewalk, just a few inches from the path of cars. in their fifties or so, dressed in jeans, not looking out of place. for a brief moment, his hand reached around her waist, pulling her closer, protecting her from the dangers of traffic. she looked up at him, thanking him with her eyes. tucked safely under her right arm, the woman held a rolled up blanket. odd, for sure, i thought. he let go, bent down, and she watched as he began his work. hoovering over a manhole, he picked up the heavy cover that lay askew. he heaved with all his might, and he shoved it to the side, crashing against the concrete. this time, it had fallen far enough away to expose the entire cavern.
and then my mouth dropped, and i forgot about the traffic.
as the man watched protectively, the woman slipped into the darkness, deep inside the ground. once she was inside, he followed. the heavy cover moved, swallowing the couple.
i sat in my car. in my warm car, sipping on my starbuck's latte and feeling ashamed. a horn from the impatient driver behind me urged me to move along. i wondered if they had witnessed the two people? did anyone else see? they had to have seen. most were lots closer than i, but as if it had been an illusion, traffic picked up and life carried on.
i've been back to that intersection a couple of times, hoping to see them again. i haven't. i still wonder who they were and why they were there. i remember their faces. not a sign of despair, only concern and worry for the one beside. i still feel ashamed of my unfettered whimpers.
so this thanksgiving, i will remember the out-of-place sound of metal. i hope that if ever i get to the place in my life where blankets and beds are luxuries rather than necessities, i will approach each day with gratitude - no matter what the situation might be. if god forbid, a hole in the earth becomes my sleeping quarters, i will be strong and hold on to my partner for strength. i will not care what others say or see, but will keep my eyes fixed on the one who loves me, for therein lies my hope. i will not be ashamed by what i must do for love or for survival.
my heart tells me its time to take another trip to snellville, just on the off-chance they are there. i hope they aren't. i hope they are inside four walls this thanksgiving, enjoying each other without the trappings of metal.