Monday, May 12, 2008

gingerly

We had a friend over for dinner and I was all set to make this cauliflower curry thing and realized I'd forgotten the ginger. (yes, Jess, I said ginger. It's the first time I've ever bought it if you want to know the truth not that anyone cares but you know, perhaps it's something I should have purchased before now is all I'm saying). So I ran over to the store and as is often the case I noticed an old dude out front asking for money.

Folks were giving him a wide berth, nothing unusual there but it always hurts me a little to see it. So when I get close he turns to me excuse me miss but do you have any spare change and I give the woman who was right in front of me ignoring him a raised and hairy eyebrow and said sure I do. So I stop and pull out my wallet and $5 falls out and so I hand him that and his eyes go big. Thank you miss, thank you. And Happy Mother's Day. Seeing as I'm childless at the moment I smile how did you know I'm a mom? And he smiled, he had a lovely smile and kind eyes you are beautiful, you must be a mom and with my dirty clothes and just back from hiking hair I laugh and pull out one of my cards if you want to try something different than this, give me a call. I might be able to help and he takes it and reads my name out loud and looks me in the eye maybe I will. Maybe I just will.

While I was paying for the damn ginger I thought of something else I wanted to tell him but when I went out he was already gone, either he'd gotten the cash he needed already or someone had shooed him away and I felt a tiny sting, I will never fully grow accustomed to how folks slip away and you never hear from them again except for those occasional times you do.

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30 comments:

Blog Antagonist said...

The not knowing must be hard for your. It would for me. But even if he doesn't come see you...you touched his life in a positive way.

kristen said...

dude, thank you for giving that woman the hairy eyeball. i hope that that woman changes her tune the next time someone asks her for change.

happy mama's day, sister. xo

canwekickthebarhere said...

I love that in addition to the $$$, you have the card to give, because ultimately, the possibility of having some sort of shelter seems like it is more of a challenge to find. I wish I had something like that to give, too.

marymurtz said...

If everyone did what you did when they had the opportunity--even just once--don't you think the course of the world would change? Bless you.

crazymumma said...

Hi Babe. Nice to catch up on you.

You know I love coming over to your space and next time I will bring the ginger.

xo

Meg said...

The last time I gave money to a street person I got yelled at by the guy I was drinking with.

It seems like you both pull the bodies out of the water AND go up to the head of the river and see what or who is throwing them in.

I love your bus photo!

Magpie said...

I love when you write in run-on sentences. It conveys your passion oh so well.

Julie Pippert said...

Yeah, it's hard when people just slip away, especially if you don't know that they are okay.

But in this one, you gave him what you could, probably what he needed. Those cards...what a great thing.

Madge said...

as always thanks for this post -- for reminding us.

Madge said...

as always thanks for this post -- for reminding us.

Sizzle said...

I am sure he appreciated the money but maybe more than that, you gave him the gift of being seen. Don't we all want that in some way?

Thanks for this post.

patches said...

Contact is so easily taken for granted.

ALM said...

I agree with Sizzle... I think so much of it is really being seen. Even if I don't give money I always make a point to acknowledge the person.

hele said...

I love you sister*

Binky said...

Of course I'm now wondering what you thought of while you were paying for the ginger that you wanted to tell him.

Oh, The Joys said...

Ginger, gingerly, ginger...

Fitting, eh?

Gingerly.

liv said...

i'm betting they flit back into your life quite often. those eyes have it.

Jennifer said...

I will never fully grow accustomed to how folks slip away and you never hear from them again except for those occasional times you do.

This is brethtaking. One of the most beautiful string of words I've read.

Jennifer said...

Also, I can spell breathtaking correctly, when I try very hard.

Beck said...

He has your card. Maybe you will see him.
The last time I bought ginger, the Baby spied it in the bottom of the toddler-sized cart and threw it on the floor. "You put a dirty STICK in my cart!" she said, outraged.

Janet said...

I hope you do see him again.

cce said...

You've offered him so much more then a moment of comfort with a cash infusion...now he just has to choose to use the tool you've put in his hand. You hath done what you could and more than most!

Jenn said...

"Except for the occasional times you do."

Exactly.

Mad said...

Not to skip over the point of this post but I just have to say, what the??? You've never bought ginger before? How have you lived?

mamatulip said...

Sometimes, Jen, I just don't know how you do it.

Kyla said...

Hope he keeps that card close and you seem him real soon.

Defiantmuse said...

um.
really?
never bought ginger before?
duuude.
really?

slouching mom said...

loved this post, babe. love you.

wheelsonthebus said...

THought of you yesterday while I was working in a coffee shop. The woman at the next table was giving nasty looks to the old man who clearly had not had a bath or change of clothes in awhile. And, at first, I was bothered, too (smells are really hard for me). And then I thought, "Hmmm. I think I am glad the coffee shop lets him stay as long as he likes."

bgirl said...

nice post....thanks jen.