There used to be a man who sat on the curb right outside my office building. He had sandy blonde hair, never washed, and blue eyes glazed over with what looked liked blindness. He wore a long, brown jacket with more empty space than fabric, and a pair of faded blue jeans. His face was rough and warped by the wind, the cold, and hardship. His eyes stared across the street, seeming to see much more than people and traffic.
Everyone, including myself, walked around him and onto the sidewalk, as if he was just another obstacle in our daily lives. The occasional person dropped some money, but his eyes never wavered, never responded. To everyone he was just a homeless person, a beggar, a weirdo.
But one day, out of pure curiosity, I decided to talk to him.
I felt oddly calm and not awkward sitting in silence with him, people passing us by as if we were invisible.
After 30 minutes of the white noise of the city, he said one thing. “We are not empty. We are just full of spaces.”
I never saw the man again.