My week’s been unpleasant. Compounding matters, couldn’t go wrasslin to blow off some steam. But I’ve been teaching my fencing class I had to go to that. Which is a good thing.
After class last night, walked by this very nicely dressed old lady who sat on a milk crate in front of a small metal cart. Her clothes were neat but slightly dirty. Her hair was up in a bun. She smiled meekly at me and held out a small crumpled paper bag.
Her: Help please? (holding out paper bag)
Me: I’m sorry ma’am. I just came from the gym.
Her: (sad smile) That’s ok, thank you.
Walked back to my pad and thought of another little old lady, which is a story for another time.
Got home, took a shower, and then got dressed again. Told my wife that I was going to head back out and give her a few bucks. She told me to be careful.
I think I can handle a little old lady.
A few minutes later.
Me: Hello. I’m sorry, I didn’t have anything before. It’s not much, but I thought it might help. (handing her money)
Her: (smiling) Thank you for coming back.
Me: Do you have any place to go tonight?
Her: Tonight, yes. And for for two more weeks. That’s why I’m collecting money.
She held up her crumpled paper bag that was filled with random bills. I told her to be careful and she said she would be.
Wanted to walk her home but figured that would scare her. So I stood around the corner for just a bit to make sure she was ok before I went home, feeling guilty about my dumb luck.
Didn’t give her much. Wish I could have given her more.
Of course, it could all be a scam but this rang true – even to my jaded NY ears. And it bothers me cause home is such a powerful word. It’s distinctly separate from house, apartment, pad, etc. It is safety, comfort, and belonging.
Chivalry’s dead, but repaying the aether is not. Tell me, my small but loyal group of internet friends: How can we help her?
Location: home, this whole @#$@# week
Mood: still unhappy
Music: All the lonely people. Where do they all come from?