I really wanted to give him something. No honestly I did!
He came up to me as I crossed the intersection, said he just got released, had just done a 18 month bid and needed Go-train money. 'I just got out the Don bro and now I gotta be on this corner begging for change.' he said with a tone that left unsaid a certain feeling of damn I cant believe this ish is happening to me.
Now I ain't going to pretend like I can sense b.s better than the next man but somehow this young man's claim rung true with me. It might not have been but he didn't look like a hustla, something about the eyes.
And really yea I wanted to give him something but the only problem was I had absolutely no change on me. It was Monday, I brought lunch, and as far as I remembered all my change was on the dresser at home and all I had was one twenty in the wallet which has to last me for a while.
Wasn't going to dig into the wallet in case there was some loose change caught in there either though. I got one rule when dealing with panhandlers; the wallet must not leave the pocket. I might give you anything that's loose in my pocket but no way am I taking out that wallet. I ain't saying this guy would steal it from me but that's the rule, I ain't taking no chances. Next thing I know you're not satisfied with my loose change or you spot a 5 or something and be asking me for more than I can afford to give. That nuh mek it.
I told him the truth; I would give him if I had but unfortunately I had nothing in terms of change.
He turned, disappointed and I moved on.
He stuck on my mind for the next few minutes though. Damn why of all the days would this guy ask me for change when I had nothing going on in my pocket. As Kurtis Blow would say these are the breaks. I actually considered changing my path back to work to avoid a second meeting with him. I was all set to go down a side street when something said naa man you cant do that. He's a brother and how can you not take care of a brother. If you another black man doesn't even want to give him change, why should you expect the next man to. Plus I thought to myself you know giving different circumstances what that could be me there begging for the change.
So I stopped in a convenience store on the way back, bought something small, broke my bill and headed back to work hoping I'd run into ol boy again. This time I had change, this time I'd do what felt right to me.
Got back to the intersection, stopped, scanned all four corners but no sign of him. Must have moved on. Damn!