This, is a true story.
At around 8:57 one night, I’d rode my bicycle across a narrow pass of the underpass ways, and, on top of the underpass, there was a train track, and there would be trains, passing by, making the noises so very loud. As the lights turned green, I’d started, paddling hard (this was the hardest part about riding a bicycle), and, I saw, that on the right side of the underpass, in front of a small machine room on my side, there was, an elderly man, sitting on top of a round stool, with his head completely bald, a dark complexion, sitting there, underneath the lights, reading, and, he’d had that smile of a fool on him, and, as the night took over, all I could make out, were a couple of yellowed teeth. Right at the second where I was about to get closer, and get farther from him, I saw, that it was, a red, and somewhat thick book, and, there was, a tricycle with a ton of junk and recycle materials (might be all that he owned).
Yes, that elderly WAS reading, no doubt. I saw it, with my own eyes.
I still recalled that the few times from before when I saw him, he was either sitting alone on that round stool, cussing, or had lain her quilt and pillow down, and was ready to turn in, or taking a piss, underneath the trees by the railroad tracks. And now, he was, reading, and laughing too.
The first thought that came to my mind was: wow, he must be someone who can truly enjoy the love of reading. He was, out on the streets, without a home, and yet, he was laughing hard, because of a book. But, my thought took a sharp turn: what, was he reading? Finances? Book of encouragement? Parenting? Dieting? Or “Journey to the West”? But I believe, that the most possible answer could be Andersen’s “Little Girl with the Matchsticks”, even IF it’s such a thin and a child’s story. What is more comforting in knowing, that there is someone else who is worse off than you? Other than that book, I couldn’t imagine what ELSE could make him laugh so hard, under his circumstances, because every single book would be richer than the old man, and, reading every page would only remind him of, “oh, you have nothing now!”
This, is why, although I’m an adult, and I still love reading Hans Christian Andersen. Because his stories, can manage, to console an elderly person, with absolutely NOTHING, and can make him laugh like that.
Because we all believe, that this, is real.
As to what, exactly was the elderly reading? Nobody would know, but this, is just from the observation that someone had made, and this also shows the bad side of humanity, we wanted to read those stories that have bad endings, so we could give ourselves a BOOST, and that, is just WRONG, but hey, that’s human nature.