Please Look at Me

I was at Yonge and Gerrard waiting for the light to turn, leaning on the handlebars of my bicycle—lazily enjoying the sun.

He came towards me, strolling across Yonge street, wearing his dirty clothes, his hair a matted mess, his backpack—which I suspected held most of his belongings—casually flung over one shoulder.

I caught his eye, and held it long enough to break open a floodgate of emotions.
I lost touch with my facial expression and just stared, trying to connect my brain with my heart to make sense of my feelings.

All I could see was the apology in his eyes. 
He did not deserve to look, his eyes said, not to look at me. 
His crushed self-image, buried deep within his soul, was reflected in those eyes and cried out, “Unclean, unclean!”

My heart begged him, “Please . . . don’t apologize for stealing a glance; you are a man filled with desires and needs. Hold me just a little longer, and I will hold you.”
He was so unlike the others who, shamelessly and seemingly deserving, indulged; ravished me with their eyes, thinking their suits and ties and shiny shoes gave them the right to take advantage of me.

My brain did not follow up with the impulse to smile at him, unable to process what had just happened—stuck in the moment—not knowing right from wrong, losing control over my heart and yielding to my emotions.

The light turned green and I let him go, my distressed state reflecting his physical appearance—an uncontrollable mess.