Personification of San Jose

Last Sunday I was walking around San Jose. As I was walking down Third street there was a guy walking toward me. It was 40-45 years old, but he really wore the years. He looked pretty fit, with the hands of a working man. He had a few prison tattoos on his arms and teardrop tattoos from his one eye. He was dressed in a white shirt, slacks, and dress shoes. He was carrying a bible. He had the serious look of a man who knew too much about how the world works.

It was 3:30 in the afternoon, so I guessed that he was coming from church. He had the look on his face of optimism and a spring in his step that told me he was happy with what he just did. I nodded at him as we crossed passed and he nodded back.

I have been thinking about this man for the past week. There was something about him that really spoke to me. I know that you cannot sum up a whole city in a single person. There was something about him that really caught the feeling of San Jose for me. The city is bound by its past, but not as much as outsiders would like to think. It is a city that is trying to improve itself.

As much as I complain about San Jose, it is a special place to me. It is not perfect. It might not be as wonderful as I would like, but it still has a little bit of my heart. San Jose fits under the "no one picks on my brother but me" rule. It is not a perfect place, but it deserves more respect.


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