dreams and visions

Stupid Muffin

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How many times a year do I stop at the library so early in the morning? Two or three, tops? What are the chances I’d happen to be here, returning a handful of unwatched cartoon DVDs on the same morning you are here? Something tells me the complex sequence of events that brought me on this particular rainy morning – the same morning your own desperation caused you to seek asylum under the dry awning of this church of words – something tells me it all came together for a reason.

I can’t see your exact form in that cocoon of blankets, but I know a few things about you. Your footwear tells me you’re a girl, and it also tells me you didn’t plan to sleep here. Flip flops in the Northwest during May? You didn’t have the benefit of planning this little campout. Whoever you are, wherever you came from, you left that place in a hurry. Your flip flops, your wad of clean blankets, your plastic grocery bag of toiletries tell me that. And you’re a bit nervous to be out here, aren’t you. (Yes, I saw your body shutter when you heard me approaching.) I thought about talking to you, asking if you could use a ride someplace, but I have a feeling there’s a man you are trying to stay away from, and the sudden interaction with a very large man like me may not be something you’re prepared to deal with. So what do I do?

You’ll be hungry when you get up, I suppose. I could find you some food. Man, I can almost see in my mind the cars stacking up on that Valley Freeway. My commute is already hell, and I’m not even in it yet. I don’t have time to stop…
Screw it. I’ll find you something to eat. McDonalds? But what if you don’t like greasy food? They do have oatmeal…but some people find the texture disgusting; what if you’re one of those? A muffin! There’s a coffee shop around the corner that does a great job of stocking and reheating Costco muffins. Who doesn’t love a muffin? Blueberry then? Ok, I’ll be back shortly with a lovely blueberry muffin for you, my dear. And don’t worry, I will not disturb you on my return if you’re still lying there, trying to rest through shivers while the concrete sucks warmth from your bones. I will just anonymously set the muffin right here, next to your invisible head. I don’t know if it will do much for you. A muffin’s an awfully small thing in light of the overwhelming ache you must feel. But I hope it lets you know Someone is thinking about you, dear child. I hope it’s at least something.
Who’m I kidding? It’s just a stupid muffin.

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22 replies »

  1. “Just a stupid muffin”? On the contrary!
    Muffin as prayer…
    Muffin as a non-threatening hug…
    Muffin as reassurance that there’s hope and help and humanity…
    Muffin as breakfast!
    Even the most mundane of its “meanings” might make all the difference in a first hungry & frightened morning on the street…

    I imagine what’s in your heart–compared to what you WISH you could do, a muffin seems mundane indeed. But I hope you’ll believe a Voice of Experience when I say there’s nothing “stupid” about your muffin.
    Muffin as a Blessing… on both of you. 🙂

  2. Was she still there when you got back with the muffin? It sounds as though you wear your heart on your sleeve too. would that more people could give muffins or what it represented. 😉

    • She was still there when I got back – hope she got to breakfast before it got too cold.
      I’d more say I wear my heart on my writing than my sleeve. (My wife could attest to that.) But this is my weak point. I am often haunted by images of lost youngsters on the streets – I have been since I was a teen myself.
      Thanks for stopping in!

  3. Oohhh… great tale. The hardness of concrete. The insufficiency of blanket. The hole in plastic bag and the threatened loss of contents thereof.

    Hot. Muffin. The moment it takes to procure same. The simple explanation to co-workers about “traffic really bad this morning”. The knowing that those few moments brought someone hope.

    The wish to do more. But you did what you could.

    Great post.

  4. What a thoughtful gesture. I don’t think that poor girl would have thought it was just a stupid muffin. Maybe it’s a little thing that will give her hope and comfort on other cold nights, which makes it a really big thing.

  5. Goodness, what a beautiful heartwarming piece. I need to go and donate muffins immediately. And coffee!

  6. The existence of homelessness is one of my biggest heartbreaks, and one of the primary sources of our annual donations in my family. Your piece here is powerful and heartwarming and wonderfully written, as always. Thank you so much for sharing! Gina

  7. The picture of the muffin made me really hungry!

    See what I was talking about? attention span of a goldfish 😉 haha x

  8. This is great! As a fellow Northwesterner, I fully understand the terrible fate of flip flops in May. What a great gesture.

    I’ve got to admit, that picture has got me craving a muffin.

  9. Beautifully written, poignant and sad….yet your simple act of human kindness gives great hope, and warms my soul. Thankyou for reminding each of us to live mindfully of others.

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