I was driving home from running some errands. While waiting for the light to turn green, I saw a man standing in the middle of the road on the other side of the intersection. I thought there might be some roadwork going on.
The light turned green, and I slowed as I approached the man. He was walking in the middle of the road with his hands out. I thought he might be having a medical emergency, so I stopped my car and rolled down the window.
“Are you Ok?”
He walked over to me and held his hands out. “I’m going to give you these. Do you have a dollar?”
I look down and see little, pewter, Minnie and Mickey Mouse figurines. “You keep them. I don’t have a dollar. Maybe you can sell them to someone else.”
“Do you have a cigarette?”
“I don’t have a cigarette. You stay out of the middle of the road so that you don’t get hit by a car, Ok?”
“Ok. Thank you for worrying about me.”
I drove on. I saw in my rear view mirror that he moved to the sidewalk. As I continued driving home, I started crying. Hard.
During our conversation, I realized I’d met him previously when he came into the laundry mat I go to. Then he approached me as if he’d known me forever, though I’d never seen him before. He made me nervous then. A little too friendly, a little too loud, just a little bit … off. But very nice with the brief interaction I had with him.
I hope he’s Ok. I hope he finds a safe harbor. I wish I could have done more for him, but I don’t know what that would have been.