Lincoln Centers Laugh
I was walking up Broadway near Lincoln Center, and I suddenly heard a loud bout of laughter. I looked up because obviously I was head down staring at my iPhone, to find the sound was coming from a group of 3 homeless people on the side of the street in front of me. The man laughing was standing with a backpack on his shoulders with a faded greying beard. He faced two others, most likely friends of his who where sitting Indian style with their backs against the building covered in blankets and cardboard boxes.
It was around 7pm, and the evening drew near. I always wondered if they got nervous or they grew with anxiety when they saw the sun starting to set, like when you were a kid riding your bike around the neighborhood and wanted the lights to stay on so you could get home safely and without getting in trouble by mom. Only their scenario was a bit different.
I walked a couple steps closer to them and he mumbled something again and started to laugh once more. This time the others joined him. Curious as to what he was saying I ripped the headphones out of my ears as I walked with the 9-5 crowd passed them. But the bustle of the streets was too loud for me to catch his words and even as my steps were moving me forward his laughter carried along with me.
Crazy that this man and those who he seemed to be entertaining may not know where he is sleeping tonight, or when he will find something to eat, or how he will keep himself warm when it gets dark and colder, can genuinely for a minute or a couple seconds forget about all of that stress and worrying… and laugh.
Crazy is probably the wrong word. It’s incredibly moving, and humbling to hear the sound of anti-stress, fear, anxiety and worry come from the person that may have the most of it. That’s what it is.