My trip to the store.
Today was a hot and windy day here in the land of cheese, green and gold and evaporated collected bargaining rights. Sir Mitt of Romney was hobnobbing around the state in an attempt to swing us more to the right. I tried to pay little attention to that and concentrate on more important matters like what would be good to eat on this stinkin’ hot day. Something light, perhaps. Also, I should be mindful of the fact that I’m gaining weight like crazy. Part of me thinks it is in solidarity with my pregnant sister in law. We’ll see who sheds this weight quicker. Then again, I might need it this winter.
As I was going to the store I had to stop at the ONE stop light in town. While there I noticed a hairy bearded guy standing on the corner. He was holding a sign that said HUNGRY… and some other text I was not able to remember or make out. Getting through the stop light only took a few seconds. As I turned the corner, I thought about this guy. He appeared to be in his early 20’s. He looked completely down on his luck. (phrase from the olden days, my children) He looked sad. He did not look like he was starving to death or anything, but there he was… a young man and a message on cardboard. I went to the store to prepare to get unhungry.
I thought about how I have actually seen people like this in real life, not just heard about it or saw it on television. I’ve seen, met and talked with these people. Most are usually scammers and not in as dire need as they let on. In my experience, the ones that are REALLY down and out or starving know how to survive, even though it is not so pretty. Those people usually want nothing to do with actual other people. I get a little skeptical when they have a very well groomed and well fed looking dog with them or they look like they are mostly clean with a fresh trim.
I also thought how I had never seen these people in THIS town before. So, maybe times are changing and things are rougher than I thought. Maybe.
The store felt good. Nice and cool. I walked around with my mini-basket and gathered up a few items. At the checkout, while the cashier was adding things up, I looked over a few rows and noticed an attractive young checkout girl looking at me. She smiled. Yep… I still have it.
Then it occurred to me that I don’t have it at all. I came to the conclusion that what I probably DO have at this point in my life – at least for this attractive young girl – is that I remind her of her Father or even worse… her Grandfather. Son of a bitch. Maybe she was just happy to see I lived through the last few days as we saw her there over the weekend. You never know.
I left the store feeling like an old fucker. I headed for home and had to go through the same intersection where I had noticed the guy with the sign earlier. Now, it took me a lot longer to write about this than all of the time this actually happened. I was probably at the store no more than about 10 minutes tops. It was now 5:05pm. I noticed an extra person, a young female standing with the sign person. Then I noticed that the sign person was a completely different person. The sign was the same sign.
I guess it must have been panhandler shift change or something and the other guy was on his supper break.