So the drawing above is terrible and needs work but I needed to sketch out some rough portrait of a very kind guy in the DTES who gave the initial impression of being gruff and unfriendly, and later turned out to be the most lovely person I'd met in a long time. He'd been involved in all manner of tragic and unfortunate things, none of which I'll list here, but we had a very real conversation about Buddhism and poetry and at the end of our conversation, it was night time and quite darkish and I was about to head out to walk back through East Hastings to the SkyTrain. Immediately, he asked if I would feel safer if he escorted me, and even though I told him it was OK, he bounded down the stairs and insisted on walking me to the station.
It was so unexpected and kind. I was not scared of walking alone, but there was something so chivalrous about this gesture that I couldn't refuse. I noticed that it was starting to rain and he had nothing but a black tanktop and white jeans.
"It's raining, though, are you going to be OK?" I asked, worried as we stepped outside.
"Of course!" he laughed. "I'm not melting, right?"
So we walked, and drew a few stares since he towered over me by about a foot and I was dressed in a stuffy and dour grey suit while he looked more like some kind of pirate rocker.
During our 20-30 minute conversation I don't think he swore once. There was something utterly sincere and wonderful about the way he said it was so great that we were able to meet and talk, that I felt something divine was present in that moment, even though the conversation was mainly carried out in a dodgy area where drug trades were taking place. It was a lovely encounter and one that made me deeply appreciate life and living.