How the man in the gutter changed my life.
| The other day I was out for my evening walk when I saw what was a very disheveled older man.
Now,being a city resident, I knew better than to approach him or any of the other homeless people that
were always outside the Mission. The Mission was part of my walking route and it was also right on one of the cities main drags.
The main thing most asked for was pocket change and cigs. Now you and I both know that whatever can be panhandled go's for the purchase of cheap quarts of beer or maybe some MadDog.
Depending on my mood the homeless would get my change or a very brief no.
Today was a no day.
Back to the man at hand... He did call out to me as I passed him, what stopped me was the way he talked.
He had an obvious education and what he said stopped me in my tracks.
He said would you like to hear a story? A story of why I am here and why you could also be just like me. In the gutter and always trying to get up but always being pushed back down into the gutter.
A Work In Progress, Not Finished Yet.
AFTER LISTENING FOR A WHILE , OR CHAPTER TWO.
So, I sat back on my haunches and said to him,"Let's Go, I am interested see if you can impress".
What followed is, well, what followed.
As my knees and my back started to stiffen and hurt he revealed,(told?}, me that it all started when he was a child of maybe 3 or 4 his mother and father were not yet married and he was the middle of what would be 7 children. Mom,.he said, was a woman who only had an 8th grade education. Dad was a little better, he made it to the 9th grade before dropping out to go in the Navy for World War 2.
Since it seemed like it was gonna be a looong story I stood and asked him if he wanted to eat. There was a sub shop across the street, and their subs are I like to think the best on the Eastern Coast, so of course his answer was let's go.
He got up from the hard concrete sidewalk and as we waited to cross the street, I, in as stern a voice that I could muster said to him " NO ALCOHOL" with that out of the way we went to the Sub Shop.
It was very crowded but I saw an empty booth in the back. I asked him to go get the booth and said I would order our subs. He said make mine an Italian and peppers on the side, lot's of them.
As I told the deli guy what we wanted, I was both shocked and dismayed that instead of waiting til we were done the clerk said," Your kind, we want the money up front.
I stared a bullet at him and took my wallet out to pay.
I thought to myself "this guy needs to get himself an education on how to talk to people" be as it may the guys an idiot and idiots usually do not learn, that is why they are idiots".
I guess he got the message that I was upset with him because he said "I'm sorry but it's been a busy day and truthfully the mission type rip us off any time they can".Okay, I thought "not enough for redemption on his final day but close enough for me".
To Be Continued. (Or Chapter 3 is up next).