The Lama


I had seen him  walking and pushing his cart a few times.  I wanted to offer him some help, food or money, but every time he slipped away; disappeared around the corner.  I never spoke to him until that day.

I stood in the middle of my necrotic garden feeling inadequate and defeated.  Nothing would grow but odd-looking weeds and I had given up.  I would have to build a deck or lay some tile to cover that obnoxious dead earth. I had bought the house for the backyard alone and I didn’t need to be reminded of yet another failure. I was stuck.

I turned around and there he was. He looked me straight in the eye and extended his fist. He opened it and on his dirty palm were about a dozen seeds. I stared at his hand. It was smooth and small; too perfect for someone in his condition.

“Take,” he said. “Take.”

I obeyed and took the seeds.  His slanted eyes were kind and contained what I interpreted as wisdom and knowledge.

“Throw, throw.”

I didn’t understand what he meant.

He swung his arm in a sweeping motion. “Throw.”

“Oh, I get it. But no. Look, I’m no good. This garden. No good.”

He shook his head. “Throw.”

I smiled and humored him. I threw the seeds and they were scattered across the garden.

He closed his eyes and said a prayer in a language I hadn’t heard before.  When he was finished, he turned around and walked away.

I have been looking for him. I was about to give up when I saw him inside a dirty, old Volvo that was parked a few blocks from my house.  He has to help me. I don’t know what else to do.

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