I had promised that I would bring a pizza, but apparently, she didn’t trust me, or men in general. She had also prepared a huge pot of soup and an even larger bowl of salad.
As we, purposefully working together, finished barely a quarter of each of the dishes, we came to speak about homelessness in Canada. I had seen a few representatives of this species on the short walk from the pizza shop and we, both non-Canadians, were shocked by the prevalence of poverty in this rich country. We spoke of the presumed reasons of homelessness. We spoke of women fleeing abuse. We spoke of our encounters with homeless citizens. We spoke of feeding the hungry.
At the time, I am ashamed to say, we didn’t even notice the irony.
No social problem has only one cause, nor is one remedy ever sufficient. But that the abundance of the many has something to do with the poverty of the few is something which we probably couldn’t have denied, had we only bothered to think of it.
I blame it on the excellent lemon cake, which my new friend had prepared for dessert, and which clouded my usual clear thinking. Or maybe it was her beautiful eyes, an excuse which she, staring into mine, could similarly avail herself of.