Sunday, December 10, 2006



This evening I was in Chinatown with dinner on my mind. I stood at the corner, waiting for the light to change so that I could cross the street.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a hand timidly move between me and the girl next to me. The hand was grasping a tiny purple violet, and the flower was offered to the girl.

She swiftly turned down the offer, seemingly without a thought. The hand went to my side, and I looked at the person behind the gesture. A man, maybe in his 30s, maybe in his 40s. He had a beard, a dirty face, and sad eyes.

I said "No, thank you," and crossed the street.

I had gone about five paces when it hit me, and I just wanted to burst into tears. He had been holding two flowers. Had he seen us, and picked them for us, to brighten my day, her day, and his day?

I was so afraid of accepting because I didn't have any money on me. I didn't want to take the flower, and make him feel cheated when I didn't give him a dollar for his kindness. I didn't want to deprive him of a source of income, to feel like I owed him, and to feel bad for taking without giving in return.

It was the wrong decision.

I remember this place, second Chinese joint on the left, after you go under the arch into C-town.

I can sympathize about saying no to the homeless guy. It's always hard to do, but if you don't have any change, you don't have any change, and you would probably seem like more of a jerk if they were expecting any...
It's like those kids in Mexico that are dirty and almost naked and they "seem" to have an injury and you feel so guilty not giving them money when a couple of hours later, you seem them dancing around with a lot of money.

Still makes you feel like crap.
go back tomorrow and give him a flower if you can find him
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