Hope? I met a man who seemed... different.

Back in 1985 or so, I met a man who seemed… different.
I had went to Chicago on a bounty- to pick up a young black man who was wanted on a warrant.
Coming upon the address that I had been given for him, I found it, ironically, to be a church…
The basement was filled with people- young, old- all of them black. It seemed filled with a sense of pain and dispair…
Not seeing anyone matching my subjects description, I turned to go back up the stairs- and this gentleman, a younger black man, coming down from outside, approached me… “Can I help you?” he asked. I am certain that my presence had not gone unnoticed- as a large, leather- clad ‘white’ man- I probably stood out a little bit.
I told him who it was I sought; “I think that this young man just made a mistake; and, if he were to turn himself in, I won’t be back… It seems that you have enough to deal with here, my friend.”
’Don’t you get paid to bring him in?" he asked.
“Yeh- but, I really don’t do this for the money- I do it for Justice. People make mistakes: they just need to face them…There needs to be a balance.” I told him.
His face lit up. “You going outside? I’m going to have a smoke…” We talked for a while… it seemed as though I was talking to my twin…
This man got it then: the need for balance- the hope and dreams of all man- are for peace. That peace requires mankind to move beyond its selfish side: its divisive side. Embrace all peoples; then, all things become possible.
I hadn’t seen this man for almost 20 years: then, I heard a familar voice on tv in 2004. He was the key note speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. “there is no red America- no blue America; just the United States of America…”
I am certain that this man would not recall me: and for that matter, I do not care… but I do most certainly remember him- and wish my brother peace in this, his most monumental of dreams- finding that balance, and unity of both truth and justice that my country did, once, so surely strove for. God speed, Barack.

Hope? I met a man who seemed... different.

Kevyn Paul Eisenman

Wausau, United States

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