State Lines: Cringeworthy.

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things stolen from me. i borrowed your quasi-boyfriend.

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What to do with old love letters?
Eleven things I used to believe.
Oh Elizabeth.
I borrowed your quasi boyfriend.

When I first moved to DC, I was in the habit of giving food to homeless people. Because, of course, if I gave them money they would spend it on alcohol, or worse! In the smaller towns I had been living in, the homeless recipients of my benevolence were always polite and grateful and I would move along feeling warm and self-righteous. (And keep my money to buy myself alcohol, or worse!)

One Saturday afternoon, on a date, walking around Dupont Circle with all the confidence of early dating, where the new person does not yet know that you are in fact occasionally boring, un-cool and ridiculous, I came across the meanest homeless man in DC. He was 7 feet tall and had a loud bellowing voice that I heard a block away: WHAT DOES A MAN HAVE TO DO TO GET SOMETHING TO EAT? Over and over again he shouted this out. Angrily. He was standing in front of Chipotle. I ignored him and my date, said I would be right back and went inside. One burrito later, I emerged and handed it to the meanest homeless man in DC.

With a sneer, he said, did you put guacamole on it? Taking in the stunned look on my face, he shouted: WHAT, YOU DON'T THINK I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK THAT? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR GUACAMOLE!  And on and on.  He followed me down the sidewalk, berating me until I ran across the street, dumping the burrito in the trash as I went. Everyone stared. My face was red for miles.

I give money now.


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things stolen from me. i borrowed your quasi-boyfriend.


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