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Two feet between our bodies but miles between our minds
Jun 11, 2004, 3:07a

Tonight Becca and I went to dinner at Gumba's in downtown Sunnyvale. While we were eating some salad at the seats on the street, a homeless man wandered by. Not wanting to bother the party that was just leaving, he gingerly stepped around them and continued on his way.

About 20 minutes later, we saw him walk by again, this time in the opposite direction. He walked into the restaurant, and since he seemed hungry, Becca and I decided to give him some of our pizza. When he walked back out, Becca offered him a slice. The waitress, not wanting this haggard man to disrupt our meal, ran back out and asked the man to wait at a bench about 10 feet away while she got him some salad and bread. We told the waitress everything was fine, and the man took his slice of pizza, thanked us, thanked the waitress, and walked away.

So this was great. Here we were eating a medium-sized feast, and we were able to share it with a homeless man who needed dinner. What I find astounding, though, is how this suddenly changed the entire ambiance around us.

Isolation evaporated, rigidity dissolved. A woman at the table next to us thought what Becca had done was wonderful, and she opened up. She started talking to us, and we talked for another 20 minutes.

What before had been 2 feet between our bodies and miles between our minds had been snapped back to the intimacy of community just by handing a homeless man a slice of pizza.

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