His life was written in wrinkles on his face and faded tattoos on his arms. As we talked it shocked me to learn he was not much older than I physically but the world had aged him far beyond his years.
He asked me a simple question but it was loaded with uncertainty and resignation; “Can it get better?” The inquiry betrayed his hard outter shell. It revealed a life, a person whose hope had been dashed against the rock of reality, his outlook shaped by dissapointments and pain.
I paused before I answered. A blithe response, a quick anecdote, a dismissive comment could crush an already broken spirit. “Yes,’ I answered, ‘if we keep working, trying, and refuse to believe our story is complete, that there are no more pages to be written.'” He sighed.
We parted ways and I wondered if he’d heard that answer before and I wondered if he still believed.
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