Most people have some sort of strong emotional reaction when they see him. Some are disgusted. Some are angry or feel sorry. They can feel sympathetic, empathetic, or even apathetic. But the covetous emotion of envy is never entertained, even though he possesses the one thing that most of them desire most, the very thing they work for, lust for, count down the hours every Friday for, what their salaries and savings are being squirreled away to enjoy at a later date for.
He is immediately categorized and homogenized. Homeless. Unemployed. Dirty. Pan-Handler. Nuisance. Bum. Menace. Blight. Cancer. Crazy. Dirtbag. Worthless. Surely this man is at depths far below the bottom of any rock. He has nothing of value or consequence. His contribution to society is overdrawn, past due, the cube of a negative number. What is he doing here and what does he want?
He is surrounded by people yet not a part. They avert their eyes and avoid physical contact at any cost. They hold their breath when in proximity to avoid the stench he surely carries. He is not ignored, but the reliability of the senses have been compromised. He remains at least partially invisible to most.
The rush of the business day blurs into a monotonous hum around him, the stressed and busy faces an endless parade. The machine marches on, day after hour after minute. Most are so busy they don’t even realize the very thing they want most is right within their grasp. Time. Free Time. Time to be Free.
When it comes to this, he is a minute millionaire.
Trashcan and a Homeless Man (by St Stev)