Friday, July 20, 2012
Why does it always have to be me? Is there a sign attached to my body that says,"Sure I'll give you money. Just ask." I thought to myself as I drove into the gas station that I was not going to give in this time. I saw the drunk homeless man standing at the gas station as I watched people walk in and out of the gas station store past him. I thought to myself that perhaps this wasn't going to be so hard. Hey, everyone else is walking past him and he's not asking them for money. Could it be that he's nit panhandling? Could it possibly be that he's just hanging out minding his own business? Yes, of course he is. Why would he ask me for money? He's not asking anyone else. Wow! This is great! A panhandler who doesn't ask for money! I'll just go inside and buy some water then come back to my car with my purchase without anyone asking me for money! As I left the store I think I made my most important mistake. I looked at him. Yeah, I made eye contact. I didn't realize that this was a mistake at first. After all, I make eye contact with people all the time and no one asks me for money. Just then, as I made eye contact, I felt this strange uncomfortable feeling of responsibility to this man's plight. However, I was going to stick to my guns. I wasn't going to give him money. Why should I? No one else was, I thought. Surely I can't be the only person to have made eye contact with him. These other people must have made eye contact and they didn't give him any money. I'm good! Oh no! Not so fast! He sensed that I was a sap. " Excuse me mister. Can I get some change", he asked. Great, what am I supposed to do now? I had plenty of change in my car. Of course he could have change. I'd be a god damn liar if I said I couldn't give him ant change. Crap! Okay, I'm going to stick to my guns. Now I have to think of a reason why I'm not going to give him my change that I know I can afford to give him. I got it! He drinks too much! All I have to do is voice my disapproval of his drinking. I said to him,"You need to sober up." Oh really you hippocrate, I thought about myself. He needs to sober up? What about all those times when you needed money? What about all those times you were waisted off your ass and you lied to motorists and said you needed five dollars because your car ran out of gas, I continued in my mind. What a stupid thing to say. This statement about sobering up didn't faze this guy one bit. It's as if he knew I was a hippocrate. He just walked right over to me as I got in my car. It's as if I said," sure I'll give you some change. Come on over to my car." He asked me again if I had any change. Again, why me? I've never seen this guy before in my life and he acts like he knows me. I'm caught. If I say no to this guy I'll feel like the biggest peice of crap lying a-hole on earth, cheapskate, tight ass , self ricthous, hippocritical, phony that doesn't deserve the respect a dog would give a flea. "Yeah man, I got some change. Here you go", I said as I reach into my consol and hand him a fist full of change. He thanks me and then gives me a brief history of his life explaining that he is fifty years old and he's going to get sober later. "it's going to be a rough night", he says. "Hey man, I've been there", I say. I then drive away. Yeah, I think to myself, I may be a sap as well as lighter in my change consol, but at least I'm not a liar. At least this poor drunk homeless guy can get another drink. All this is understood. However, what I still don't understand is how this guy knew to ask me for the change.