I was waiting at the bus stop this morning when a woman came walking by. I saw her approaching, ugly as sin, walking with the shoulders going up down up down. I looked away because I hate acknowledging people who are going to ask me for money.
‘S’cuse may sir.’
I looked over at her.
‘Can I have three dollars to buy something to eat?’
‘No sorry, I only have two dollars for the bus, ma’am.’
‘Oh okay then, sorry ’bout that.’
This woman was carrying a coat, a very expensive looking, gold colored coat, so that when she was far enough down the block I remarked to the guy next to me, ‘Pretty nice coat she’s got, huh?’ Meaning, how the hell is she going to ask for food money when she’s wearing all this nice stuff.
‘You mean he’s got a nice coat.’
‘That was a dude.’
‘I saw her walking up and she knew not to ask me, man.’ He told me how he’d once been hooked on crack, that he could see it in her, or him, in an instant. But this guy wasn’t some burned out crack-head. He went on telling me how he’d been hooked, couldn’t pay his bills and finally decided he’d had enough of it. He was out. He quit. Now he’s got a nice apartment across the street from the beer store. But hell, he ain’t living on the streets waddling around as a chick.
‘Hey, it’s personal responsibility man.’
‘You exactly right. If you wanna live on the streets and do crack, that’s your thing, not my problem. If you wanna keep your apartment and be able to feed yourself then get off the shit, or else you’re begging all day. You gotta make the choice man, I did it.’