The Nazarene with No Arms

Posted: April 4, 2012 in Memories of things that didn't happen
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I woke up with this title in my head.  I don’t think I’ve ever named a dream while still asleep.

A shabbily dressed homeless man stood in the middle of the street, autumn leaves blowing past him in the light breeze.  I stood transfixed on the sidewalk.  He was plucking an acoustic guitar, singing The Weight with his scratchy voice.

 

His voice wasn’t what captivated me, it was the fact that he had no hands.  His arms ended in stumps, yet he was still able to play quite well.   A class of schoolchildren on a field trip approached him in a line, their teacher at the head.  Each child held a bowl of applesauce and a spoon.  The teacher approached the man and scooped out a spoon of applesauce, holding it up to him.  He happily ate it and kept on playing.

One by one, still in their line behind the street musician, the children turned and fed the child behind them a single scoop of applesauce.   A woman came jogging by on the sidewalk dressed head to toe in sweats, but still style-conscious enough to be attired with many fine earrings, necklaces and rings.

“What a noble thing you kids are doing, “she said as she came to a stop.  “I can help out too.”

She plucked a ring from her finger, a flat golden heart-shaped band, and tossed it to the school kids.  It was a poor throw, and the ring bounced in the middle of the street and rolled under a nearby parked car.  My sister, who had apparently been standing beside me this whole time, ran over and stooped under the car to retrieve the ring.  She returned and gave it to me.

“Is it gold?” she asked. “You’ll know if it’s gold if it’s still warm.”  I put the ring to my cheek to test.

“Yup, it’s gold.”

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