Ode To Chap – Sleep Well Tonight
According to Twitter (which is basically the forum where opinions matter most now if the past weeks news is anything to go by) a lot of people had a dire start to the week yesterday. If it wasn’t three hour long equality & diversity meetings it was flying ants. If it wasn’t flying ants it was power cuts. I myself am one hand down after taking a tumble at the weekend, I felt miserable at work, I came home to no hot water, I had moaned constantly & wholeheartedly… about sweet FA really.
Someone was having a brilliant day however.
Since I started working in East London countless people have told me to avoid the subways at Aldgate unless I wanted to end up on one of those bright yellow Police incident boards. I’m forever ignoring sensible suggestions and have been merrily skipping down one particular route as quite frankly it’s safer than London drivers & cyclists.
Because of this route I’ve become acquainted with a chap there living rough, he has lived their two years in total. I call him chap as that’s what he told me to call him the first time we spoke, he calls me smiler. Over the months when I’ve passed by I’ve often dropped in a cup of tea and sandwich. He is always in high spirits and keeps his little, desolate corner tidier than I keep my flat. I’ve never seen him drink or take drugs. He is always coherent, articulate, polite and witty. More so than my colleagues in fact.
When I passed by yesterday he was packing up his sparse belongings. He was whistling the song I’ve attached to this post, a song I’ve always adored that now takes on a whole new meaning. When he saw me he gave me the biggest grin I’ve ever seen anyone give and announced that as of today (that terrible Monday everyone, including I was moaning about) he is no longer living on the streets. Chap had been accepted into a housing scheme, and he proudly announced that immediately he would find a job, any job, as long as it helped him get back on his feet. His enthusiasm and happiness was catching, I joined in whistling the song with him and wished him all the luck the world could send his way.
Good luck Chap! I am sending karma your way. ♥
UPDATE 13/07. I walked past where Chap had been sleeping rough today. He had a pride about it even when packing away it seems. Could you imagine living here for two years?