I wrote this about 8 years ago (before posting it here). At the time I spent my lunch and smoke breaks chain smoking with all the people that hung around outside the pharmacy I worked at. They were mostly loners, disabled mentally or physically, and often were banned from entering the pharmacy for some past incident. They were some of the most interesting and complex people I have ever met.
Once a man had a cigarette with me. Just one cigarette and it changed my entire world. In only a few minutes I learned about the struggles of a Man. Many of us pass our days by as though they are drawn from the well of infinity. But this Man I have met has lived more than half of a century and has been through a lost war, raised more than his share of children, and dealt with a spouse who has given up all hope. But still he laces up his boots one at a time and carries himself to a place he would really rather not be just to try and keep it all together. Not a single frown or tear can be seen. But some how he continues on. This is my hero. A Man. Something I hope to someday become. Given a lifetime of experiences, both pleasurable and painful and left with nothing more than the legacy of a few children who seem to have forgotten you and the only gift you have left to offer them is the idea that you will never make your problems theirs what would you be?