"Begging your pardon, sir, but can I trouble you for a cigarette?" Asked the man as he approached me. His sneakers are worn and cracked. One pant leg is ripped and tattered up to his calf. He has only three teeth, brown with decay in the front of his mouth.
I was starting to feel isolated, like I needed to venture out into the world. Today I have a therapy appointment at the Mental Health Center of Denver. Today is the first day that I have had to face the real world in almost two weeks. I'm sitting in front of the clinic now, my stomach in knots.
The world outside of the house seems to move so fast. It's chaotic. Everyone is rushing to get somewhere and it feels meaningless.
I reach into my bag and pull out the cigarette pack.
"You're in luck," I say. "There's one left."
His expression changes. There's a tinge of guilt on his face.
"You can get more for yourself, can't you?" he asks as I hand him the cigarette.
"Yes," I say.
I can get more cigarettes for myself. I can get more than cigarettes for myself. In this moment, I see just how much better my life is than I thought it was a few moments before when I was wracked with anxiety and feeling down on myself.
Perspective changes everything.