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.
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.