Make it Home

The lanes were backing up in a new place. I drive them each night, but I’d never seen a situation quite like the one this evening.

Five lanes merged into one, except for those drivers who peeled off or made illegal U-turns to get out of the mess. I thought about joining in, but the flashing lights a block ahead indicated I was almost past it.

Just beyond the intersection a large swath of shattered glass sparkled, trying hard to disown its past. It had been dutifully swept into a single lane instead of spanning many, though its tidiness was a terrible front; it was apparent the wreck had been a large one.

Drivers all around worked together, most probably just wanting to get home to their kids, for dinner, to a husband, wife or significant other. Nobody wanted a fight or, worse yet, another collision.

Adjacent to the accident site was a bus stop where a homeless man slept curled up on the bench. He and his belongings took up its full length, so others stood waiting, allowing his bed to remain. I wasn’t sure who could sleep in the middle of such chaos; I wondered if his slumber was pure or alcohol influenced.

Regardless, someone in at least one car likely wasn’t going home tonight. My fellow commuters and I were, however, while those as the bus stop would be on their way soon enough. Knowing the man on the bench would probably be there for hours longer, if not the full night, stung a bit.

Maybe he’d find a home yet, though. Or maybe he was there to somehow realize how lucky he was to not have been in it. Maybe being spared from the accident would be a turning point. Maybe tomorrow he’ll count his lucky stars under which he sleeps tonight.

Or maybe not. Maybe he’d make the bus stop home indefinitely, but I can hope that he’ll find a real one someday.

Home is something we take for granted until we can’t get back to it, or when we see someone who’s without one of their own. It may not be perfect and it may have its own issues, we may not keep it clean or we may try to run away from it, but it’s home. For making it back to that which I call my own home, I am thankful.

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