Saturday afternoon, I was walking home from Reading Terminal Market, after having seen a Film Festival movie and lunch at Cafe Spice with friends. Cindy and I hit the market after lunch, although the thought of buying food after eating so much made our stomachs revolt slightly. We parted ways after our joint grocery shopping, planning to meet up later in the evening to go see Caroline, or Change.
As I walked past Macy’s (I still want to say Lord & Taylor’s), a homeless man called out to me from his spot on the pavement, “Honey, can you spare dollar?” I smiled at him, made eye contact and said, “No, I’m sorry, I can’t.”
He grinned at me, flapped his hand and said, “That’s okay, cause I love ya. I do, I love ya.” His response was so genuine and delightful that I couldn’t help but have a huge smile break out on my face. I was a couple steps in beyond him by this point, and I looked back at him. He caught me looking, waved and said it again, “You go on, pretty girl. I love ya.”
I smiled the whole way home, wondering who he was. An angel? A man who has an impossibly good spirit about being homeless? Or just someone who recognized that my appreciation and respect for his humanity was intact, despite my inability to give him a dollar. (I told this story to my mom later and she said, “That response was worth a buck. You should go back sometime and see if he’s still there).
I think he was just high.
🙂 Just kidding.
Now that I’ve posted it, it seems a little offensive. So, I just want to let you know that I mean no ill harm by that … just my sarcastic nature.
Don’t even worry about it. Maybe he was, but it was a nice moment, nonetheless.
I’ll go with your mom on this one.
I have had my own experiences with the homeless in the city. Generally, I have a hard time turning them down for loose change or a dollar. Mostly though, I buy them food.
One, a one-legged man who claimed to be a Vietnam vet was sitting outside the Wawa, not far from the Reading Terminal. He asked for a Yoo Hoo and Reese’s cups. How could I turn down such a decent request? In I went to fetch him his booty. He was so happy, and I made his day with such a simple shopping trip.
It made me feel as good as it made him feel.