Monday, August 29, 2011
Yesterday, I was driving in my car with my sister, and we passed the mall, like I do everyday. Many times, you will see a homeless person holding a sign, asking for some money, or help. I always feel bad for people in these situations, but I usually don't stop and give them money for many reasons. One, I simply do not make enough to start passing out $20 bills. Second, I often question the validity of these vagrants. I really do not want to foot the bill for some whino to get plastered.
Well, we drove past a person who had obviously fallen on hard times. We had a cardboard sign, although I did not really make out what was on it. Instead, I looked at this person, a kid, could not have been much older than 18. He was wearing a really filthy Chargers 2008 AFC West Champions hoodie, and a pair of jeans that looked like they hadn't been washed in months. If he was a scam artist, he certainly came prepared. Then I looked up and saw the expression in his face in my heart sunk. This poor kid's eyes were closed, and he looked frightened. Perhaps it was because I saw myself in him, but I felt compelled to help him. Perhaps the small amount of cash might give him something to eat, and restore his desire to live for a few hours.
Again, the expression on his face has haunted me for the last 24 hours. The look on his face could not be faked, it might have been the most authentic thing I have seen. It makes you wonder what happened to someone so young. Did he fall into drugs? Did his parents throw him out? Was he abandoned? As I drove away, I knew I had to go back and at least give this kid a few bucks.
I circled around the block, and went back to deliver $5 to this kid. Again, not much, but all that I had on me at the time. It took all of 2 minutes to swing around, and when I got back to where he was standing, he vanished. I drove into the parking lot of the strip mall where he was standing. Gone. I looked on both sides of the block, and he was nowhere to be found. It was as if he vanished into thin air. Maybe someone picked him or he ran away, but he vanished in a 2 minute span. It was one of the most surreal moments I have experienced.
I couldn't help but wonder if this was a sign, or some kind of test. A test to see how I would react in this situation. Would I stop to help this frightened, and depressed kid, or would I simply turn away, and go about the rest of my day. I tried to do the right thing, but he was gone. Perhaps I will see this kid again, I can give him a few bucks, and hopefully help him out a little. As much as I bitch about my life, I have a job, a car, food, and a roof over my head. This poor guy had nothing but the dirty clothes on his back. Whoever he is, I hope he knows that people do care in this crazy society, and I hope he gets the help he needs.
Posted by Kevin Charity at 10:36 PM