From Gucci to Gap to Goodwill and Grateful.
The other day I’m on my way to a vintage clothing shop, and I see two fellows on the bus bench in front of the shop. They’re obviously homeless as evidenced by their grubby, layered frocks; mangy, matted hair; shopping cart of filthy blankets and extra, oversized army jackets; and the 2 litre bottle of cheap chardonnay they are sharing at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.
The fellow facing me has brown hair and glaucoma. He asks, “Can you spare some change?”
I say, “Just a minute,” and go into the store, not wanting them to filch my cash, feeling paranoid they’ll steal my wallet and somehow out-shuffle me down the street. I enter the store, search my purse and find two dollars. I go back outside—the other man has removed his jacket revealing a body riddled with scabs. As I approach the men, I smell stale urine. (I must note that I have chatted with a few home-lacking people, and they do not all smell foul. I ride my bicycle on the boardwalk and see plenty out of doors dwellers at the free public showers soaping up. The water isn’t heated. But I digress.)
I approach the men and hand them each a dollar. The fellow who didn’t ask for money and isn’t facing me immediately hands his dollar to his friend, and I feel chastened having made the assumption.
I ask his friend, “What’s your name?” Continue Reading…