Essays
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The Good Deed of Listening

Sometimes it’s worth taking the time to listen. Especially to those voices that are rarely noticed. Stories that want to be heard and harbour a surprise or two. And there’s so many of them roaming around our streets. A few days ago I found one of them. Motionless, almost dreamy he stares into the distance. The other side of the road. Shivering from the cold, he draws the blanket tight. I see him almost every single day on my way past the local shop. As a was on my way to grab a few essentials for a hearty dinner, I walked past like so many times before. The usual bad feeling hit instantly. Not today, I thought and turned on my heel.‘What can I get you, buddy?’ He gave me a sad smile, but a shine in his eyes. ‘Oh that’s lovely. How about a caramel latte with a splash of sugar?’ Slightly puzzled, I only gave him a nod. ‘Well, he knows what he wants’, I thought. Once I was back with my groceries, I handed the coffee over with a smile. ‘You were pretty specific about that, mate’, I said. ‘I just know my trade. I had my own cafe once, you know? It used to be just over there.’ he pointed over to where the greengrocer now is across the road. ‘And then this happened…’ he replied with a voice of sadness and importance. So I listened.

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