Sunday, April 19, 2009

a panhandler

He either is incredibly clever, or has some serious mental issues. He stands often on the corner of 7th and PCH, and is usually in a warm jacket no matter how hot it is. His hair is dreaded, and not in a stylish way, he is unshaven, and usually quite dirty. He never seems to look directly at you. And has card board signs never really make sense. Last week he had one that said "nothing wrong".

I have given him some change once and a while, but at the light there isn't much time to chat. Today I ran into him by the 7-11 where I was buying some beer to go with dinner. As I walked out he asked a lady if she could get him a small bottle of milk, she hurried past him as far away as possible, and said, "I don't have any change"

Of course, he didn't ask for change, he asked for some milk. But she didn't listen to him, of course I understand why. He scared her, he was dirty, homeless, probably crazy, maybe on drugs, and who knows what those kind of people can do. But the fact is, she didn't even see him, or hear him. He is a person, who communicated a very basic need.

I bought him some milk, said hello, looked him in the eye. Nothing saintly about that. In fact something incredibly human about it.


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