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The House in the Middle of the Street

By Mitchell Casado

For the first week or so, two fire trucks and an ambulance, and sometimes even a police cruiser, would arrive at a man’s house. One by one they would file in and form a semi-circle around where he sat crying uncontrollably at the kitchen table, next to a glass case where he kept military medals. After the first week they stopped coming, but he continued to cry, invariably ending up wailing and convulsing in a ball on his front steps each day, until, eventually, one of the neighbours came by and hugged him until he went quiet. The neighbours knew what it was like to feel as the man did and were instantly embarrassed that when they did feel as he did, too many people, too quickly, were there to hide them. Because of this, they didn’t want the man to stop, and were glad when he didn’t. 

Mitchell is a fourth year English and Art History student at University of Toronto. Prior to coming to U of T, he had careers as a combat soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces and as a civilian commercial airplane pilot. 

The most important thing in life is how we treat one another. I think we have a solemn obligation to help those around us as much as we can, and not to let traditionally recognized boundaries tranquilize us into inaction, but rather stir us to challenge the conventions that keep us from helping each other; after all, it is worth the trouble.

Photo credit: Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

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