If I were to give a dollar to every person who asked me while I walked up to the metro from work, I'd probably be out about $35.00 a day. That would be an expensive 7-minute walk.
I'm used to the lady that says every day in the same cadence: "spare sum change help me gemmme sumthin to eat." I'm used to the man who says "hello, can you spare me a quarter cos I'm hungry?" on repeat even if no one is around.
I'm used to just looking down at my toes so that guilt doesn't show on my face. Guilt for wanting to help all, but being able to help few.
But yesterday I looked up when a lady asked, "gimme some change so I can get me sum minutes on my cell phone..."
Excuse me, minutes on your cell phone?
Lady, I didn't even have a cell phone until I was 19 and could pay for it myself...but let's not get into that right now.
That was one of the most surprising things I've ever heard. Almost as surprising as the time when my Dad and I were riding the metro and he (in all seriousness) told me that he had always liked a well-kept head of dreadlocks.
Yep, this city holds surprises every day.