Friday, October 24, 2014

Faith In Humanity

This is how it went down yesterday.  Driving home from a successful doctor’s visit/pharmacy
visit/phlebotomist visit, I saw a homeless man crossing the street.  He meandered along, because, after all, homeless—not much going on for him except crossing streets and whatnot.  After he passed me, I saw that he had no shoes or socks.  He had a hoodie and over that another coat, long pants, and here in SoCal that’s almost too much clothing.

But no shoes.  And here I am, in a truck, wearing a nice pair of light hikers, with two pairs of running shoes and at least as many pairs of socks.

It seemed like the right thing to do, so I turned my truck around and flagged the man down.

“Sir, do you have a moment?” I asked him.

“Are you trying to help me?” he asked back.

“Only if you want it,” I said.

“Sure I want it!” he replied, and shuffled over.

“Great.  Do you happen to know your shoe size.  I’ve got an extra pair of running shoes and socks for you, they look like they might fit.”

He looked down at his feet and I looked with him.  He lifted one toward me.

“I don’t need no shoes, bro,” he said.  “I need bus fair, food money.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I replied, a bit wary.  “I don’t carry cash.  But I have these shoes and socks.  They’re clean and in good repair.  I’m happy to give them to you.”

What the WHAT!?
“No bro, I don’t need no shoes,” he continued.  “You got change, dontcha?  Some cash?”

“I’m sorry, sir, I don’t.  I don’t carry cash.  I thought you could use some shoes, but if you can’t, that’s really all I can do right now.”

“Bro, I could use a car or a house, or some cash,” he said, and he was getting a little edgy.  “But I don’t need no shoes.”

“Ok, I understand.  Sorry I couldn’t help.  Good luck to you.”

“Yeah, whatever bro,” he said, and there was some obvious anger in his voice now.  “What you did was waste my time, bro.  You wasted my time.”

Yeah, seriously, that was his parting shot to me.  I’m assuming he had a high level business meeting that he was “rushing” off too, and I’d now delayed him with my effort to provide reasonable footwear.  Mea culpa.

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