9th of April, 2013.
It is raining. An icy, warm kind of rain that doesn't pour, doesn't fall, just mists and sweats. The crowded CBD is flooded with damp fringes plastered to the foreheads of those who own them, Louis Vuitton handbags dripping with strange perspiration, steamy business shirts underneath oppressive, smartly cut suit jackets, puffed, red faces of those in excessive hurry, dampened Chanel skirts, sodden Prada shoes, clammy fingers in the pockets of moistened Burberry coats.
Same street. A wet face looks at the ground holding a sign that says she needs help. Needs money. Needs a meal.
She has been there for an hour already, and doesn't even have a dollar.
The haughty crowd of self-absorbed humanity continues to hurry by, a meaningless blur of carelessness for the things that really matter. How can they not see what matters? I take the disinterest as a challenge. I will give money at least, I think to myself. I look in my purse. Five cents. Five ridiculous, mocking cents. I close it again. I don't want to look at my inability to help. Five cents cannot help, can it?
It could have. It would have, I'm certain. Yet, I became like the rest of the self-absorbed crowd. I didn't give it.
Ten minutes later we enter a lane. Birdcage Lane, it is called. Angel Place. Suspended from wires crossing over me are hung many, many bird cages of all shapes and appearances. All are different. All are different, just like we humans are all different from each other. A cage for each of us. Do you know what this place is?
I understand. The woman on the street is caged in her poverty. And I?
I am caged in my comfort.
Now I have a mission.
To find the key.
To find the key.