Have you ever heard a song that sent chills up your spine? I have. I was working downtown in Chicago at The House of Typography I was a typesetter. I work from 7:00 pm to 4:00 am I only had a block to walk to the bus stop on Grand Ave. after work. It was windy & very cold that morning as I walk to the bus stop I saw a beautiful black girl pushing a stroller headed my way. I looked at her and then I looked away like anybody would do. As we pass she stop me and said, Sir, it’s cold and I & baby are homeless & hungry can you spare some change?. It touches me deep inside cause I know what it’s like to be homeless & hungry. I felt awkward for some reason, I look down at her baby in the stroller all bundle up from the cold was crying & moving. I had a $100 dollars on me, five twenty dollar bill I reach into my pocket to give her some money and I gave her a twenty. She took off one of her gloves to take the money I could see her hand was burnt like she was in a fire. As I look up into her eyes I notice the one side of her face & neck was burnt too. I told her there was a white hen pantry on the next block it’s open 24 hours go get yourself some food. She was surprised I gave her a twenty she said thank you so much, god, bless you, she keeps on saying it. I told her I have to go that’s my bus. I smile at her and said Good Luck you and your baby. As I walked across the street. It was like perfect timing the bus pull up, I got on and walk to the back of the bus where I always use to sit & listen to my Sony Walkman for 45 minutes headed to the west side of Chicago.
I saw her turn around headed to the white hen pantry from the back window of the bus, I put my headphone on I don’t remember the song that was playing on B96 but I never forget the next song by Phil Collins it sent chills up my spine as listen to the lyrics. I was thinking I should have given her all the money she was gonna need it more than me. I had a place to live, food, smokes, a job and a hot waterbed that I always keep at 90 degrees in the winter. Yeah, I wasn’t living in paradise but I knew I had it so good compared to her. I felt so bad I couldn’t do anything more to help her and her baby. Now every time I hear “another day in paradise” by Phil Collins I remember that cold & windy morning in Chicago.
Tommy Friend Story