I’ve Seen Him Before

I have a lot of sympathy for the homeless — always did. I tend to wonder how they ended up on the streets and the means within their disposal to be out in the open all day. It terrifies me knowing they don’t have a roof over their head. While some people who walk by won’t acknowledge they’re even people, I don’t have that same perspective.

As fate would have it, I was closing an old bank account the other day. Turns out, the bank owed me $5. A 45 minute wait later, I was out the door with money I didn’t know existed an hour ago. Heading back home, I stopped by my usual coffee shop until I saw him.

To my recollection, this man has been out on the streets for several years. He’s one of the less bothersome types. He usually just sticks out his hand and asks if anyone can spare a dollar. I’m sure people turn him down hundreds of times and I’ve never seen him make a fuss about it. I think after a while, he feels hopeless. It’s a sad thought.

I had to walk past him to get my cup of coffee. We make eye contact with him sitting on the sidewalk.

“Spare some change, sir?”

I reached into my pocket, unfolded the crisp $5 bill I had and handed it to him. His eyes lit up and hand trembled when he went for it.

“Thank you, sir.”

God bless was my only reply. I didn’t get coffee that day, but who cares.

Later world.