“That Far from Homelessness”


“We are all that far from homelessness,” said Anne, holding her thumb and index finger an inch apart to illustrate her point.

We were on the pavement outside a bar in Prague near Charles Bridge, eating club sandwiches, drinking Czech beer and talking politics.  More specifically we were talking about homelessness, because just moments before there was a homeless guy hovering at our table expecting crumbs.  We’d given him 500 Czech Crowns and he’d backed away, bowing in gratitude for receiving, shock at receiving so much, and embarrassment at having to ask to receive.

“That far,” Anne repeated.

We were in the sunshine making hay, counting our money and our blessings.  We were doing well, enjoying the feast, getting bloated with experience, travelling the world.

She was a BBC news foreign correspondent, still is.  I was a scriptwriter, still am.  She was living in a large house in Scotland, still is.  I am not, because I was that far from homelessness.


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