shoulda, woulda, coulda

A couple of days ago, I was making my way through town to meet a friend. I stopped at the back of Takashimaya, intending to go to the post office that has long been replaced (yeah, I don’t get around much), and as I approached the crossing from the bus stop, I noticed a frail-looking man, with feet bent outwards at a small, but still awkward angle. He was crossing the road, but kept stopping in the middle and turning back, as though undecided about whether he should be crossing or not. Eventually, as the traffic light turned green, he reached the side of the road I was on. Trying not to stare, I reached out for the button, but inadvertently caught his eye. He came up to me and asked me, in a barely audible voice, for some money, saying that he hadn’t eaten breakfast. I remembered being told that it was better to give food than money, to make sure immediate physical needs were being met, since some beggars take the money and buy drugs or cigarettes. I offered him the takopachi balls I’d just bought, wishing I had something a little healthier and more substantial. He rejected the food, either because he didn’t really want food or because he didn’t know what it was and it looked suspicious (understandable).

I wish I’d have invited him to the food court and offered to buy him lunch there. Instead, I said no to his request for money and hurried along on my way. I wasn’t really even in a rush.

All these things I should’ve done… Let me not forget them. Next time, let me do better.


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