Main highway!
Off the beaten path...

๐ŸŽช For your Amusement

Me at 18, being typical cynical. Fresh-out of high-school kid believed in the "I've given up in humanity" bullcrap working at a summer job at an amusement park, operating rides.

A particularly unpleasant smelling, socially awkward, obvious homeless man has been a regular guest for a while.

Apparently, he had a bad injury years back doing factory work and needed a cane to walk.

He couldn't find much besides odd jobs to keep afloat because of his disability.

So, he saves up all of the money he makes from October through May to buy a season pass to the park every year.

He has access to free drinks. free water. free showers, plus he could play all the games, see the live shows, go swimming every day, and he was there every day.

I asked him why he chose to spend his money there instead of making sure he always had enough food.

"Here, I can escape from my life. I'll never be able to travel the world, but here I've met people from all over the world."

Three years later, I'm a manager overseeing every department in the park. 

I've spent a lot of time talking to him over the years and I knew he'd be back just like every other year.

He always pays for his season pass out of pocket, adding a free meals pass to it.

Had it waiting for him when he came to pay for his pass, along with a note.

From October through April, we had been adding new attractions to the park. As manager, I had a good amount of creative input.

We all decided on doing an "around the world" theme. Different sections and rides, all had their own styles based on different parts of the world.

The park then reopened in May.

Three days into the season, I'm doing my rounds when I am bear hugged from behind.

The homeless man was crying his eyes out and can only put out "Thank you so much,"

He pulled out the note that I left him: 

You brought hope into my world. I wanted you to be able to see that world.

I will never forget the look he gave me that day.

That guy made me feel human for the first time in my life.

Art: Laura Zerebeski


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