Homeless vs Penniless
|Jordan felt a little surge of guilt-compassion for the ragged man sitting cross-legged on the pavement next to the street light. He gave the man a little glance, then raised his index finger with his left hand while he fumbled around for some change in his pocket. There was nothing there but some cough drops, keys and a used wadded up Kleenex.
Jordan lamely muttered, “Ahhh, just a sec, fellah.” He could feel eyes upon him as he pulled out his wallet. He opened up the middle section where he kept his cash, but only found receipts, a customer loyalty card to the local ice cream shop, and a few odd business cards. Strike two. The homeless man looked up expectantly.
“Uhhh…” said Jordan, “Hmmmm.” He could feel his blood rushing into his face. He was sure a thousand people were watching. The adrenaline of shame began to fog his mind.
Suddenly, he recalled the Canadian Two dollar bill he kept in a secret pocket behind his credit cards. He had kept it as a souvenir from a trip to Toronto almost two decades ago. In desperation, he pulled it out- in two badly worn pieces, one bearing the hardly discernable image of the Queen Elisabeth. “Here” he said, as he gave it to the homeless man. “uh… sorry… you’ll probably have to get it exchanged… uh… after you tape it together… gotta go!”
As Jordan hurried off, leaving the homeless man staring at the two scraps of paper in his hands, they both said in unison, “I’ll never come back here again.”