Urban Angel (Daniel)

Everyone and every place has a story and this location played an important role in different decisions that wish I could have made or handled differently. I let someone very close and important to me down at this very location. That moment I am always very sorry for and with mixed emotions I walked into the scene to catch this lively character named Daniel huddled under blankets perched against a fire hydrant. He saw me catch the first frame and as I walked across the street to greet him he started chatting away with me.

I introduced myself to him, instantly he pulled out his hand and we shook on the cordial introduction. It had started to rain and I had been sitting on the pavement for most of the day, so with soggy pants I sat down to chat with Daniel. He told me of stories of friends that he had who changed their lives, gotten married, had kids, homes and cars. I asked how long he had been on the street and he is running into his ninth anniversary at the age of 43 with no real ambition to change at this point. He accepts his situation as a life and challenge he has been given by god and tries to live each day as best he can. I have had people trying to pound this thought into me all year long, I guess it took a gentle giant on the street to finally drive that point home to me.

While Daniel and I were talking, a pickup truck with a mother and child rolled up, the boy had a bag of food that was now intended for Daniel. Daniel couldn’t get up quickly so I jumped over to receive the dinner on his behalf.  While making my way back down to the ground Daniel asked if I was hungry, he said that he couldn’t eat anymore today, that it was hard for him to turn down the generosity of others but just couldn’t fathom eating anymore and wanted me to have it instead. I offered many thanks, declined and told him to hold onto the food for later. Daniel was smarter than I, the rain was coming down heavier and he started to get up and pack his belongings to find shelter.

While packing his things, an SUV pulled up along side us, a gentleman jumped out of the vehicle and handed Daniel a twenty dollar bill. Daniel started bouncing around and almost tackled the guy with an amazing hug. His spark for life, his graciousness, his friendliness makes him an Urban Angel. Daniel finally collected his things, we parted ways with a handshake and him giving me two oranges. I ate one of them, gave the other away.

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