Oct 28, 2018


Begging, there are all forms, from the eloquent (charity, fundraising, requests for donations) to the crass (the transient homeless, street kids delaying their travels etc.).  Many turn up their noses to the crassness laying judgments. I try not to take the path of judgment because truth be told we don't know the beginning, the middle or dare I say the end. We think we see the end result, the hands outstretched followed by the pleas for money. It's for the most part ineloquent yet extraordinarily effective  as it taps into ones compassion and empathy. Life can change swiftly and no one desires homelessness and poverty.

As far as panhandling goes I have seen and experienced my fair share. From the young man who made me laugh so hard my eyes water and my sides hurt when he begged me for 10 cents. "Ten cents! what can you do with 10 cents?" I had asked curiously incredulous. "Every penny counts, it all adds up" he says with a shy smile. It was such a joyous exchange that I emptied my change purse in his palm to amount of $5. It was all I had, the laughter was worth it. To the woman whose face I had to get up in because she snatched my daughter's drink out her hand when she was a child and started drinking, then had the balls to try and give it back to her. Perhaps one day I'll tell the two tales. Today though what I observed was a complex mix of hilarity yet not.

He walked a quick 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5 rhythmic back and forth to keep the cold at bay. Every so often he ran to catch a select person in the crowd of commuters to beg for money. Unsuccessful he grumbled. His guyanese accent pronounced as his frustration gave way to cursing them. He shoved his hands in his tweed dinner-like jacket grumbling of the cold. His linen pants hanged from his petite frame. On his head an aged ferdora hat sagged halfway down his forehead shadowing his aged brown face. On his feet a pair of slightly worn sneakers.

He appoached a Muslim woman cloaked in her hijab running along side her as she ran for her bus.

"Salam Alaikum, spare some change for a hot tea or coffee?"

"Wa-Alaikum Salaam, I am sorry I have no money." She replied.

"You a Muslim and you have no money? You a poor Muslim." He shouted as she raced away. Irritated he shoved his hands in his pocket as he tapped out his 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 rhythmic back and forth. He took a deep breath and ran into the moving crowd.

He approached a man that shut him down before he could finish. He yelled, "I don't talk to men anyway, you are a cunt." 

"Fuck you"

I almost laugh as I starred in fascinated horror observing as he cursed through people that refused him while I waited for my bus.  I've given him money in the past however this is the first time I've witnessed this aggressive almost willfully defiant approach.

I like the other commuters ran as I saw my bus pulled in to its designated area. I boarded to the distant sound of his Guyanese accent, "spare some change for a coffee or tea to warm meh belly."


  1. Panhandlers come in all sizes and shapes. You describe this one perfectly. We have so many on the streets here that it's impossible to avoid them. :-(

    1. Very true. It keeps me humbled because its a reminder that life can turn on a dime and nothing should be taken for granted.

  2. I wish I could remember the name of the movie on Netflix that reminds me much of this exchange, and was a true story. He was mean, loud and aggressive to so many, even in the soup kitchen. But there was a lady there who treated him kindly no matter what he did, even though she was a little afraid. She pushed her husband to talk to him too. Eventually, we find out about the serious suffering this man has been through, and this couple didn't give up on him. He ended up being heavily involved in church and helping the homeless until he died, I think in 2012. It just hurts me to hear about and see the plight of those with mental disease, or who are homeless and hurting. I love that your laughter and kindness made someone's day. Hugs and more hugs! RO

    1. Yes well, we truly don't know the toll suffering will take on us and how it will impact others. Though it is not an excuse to treat others poorly it is a reality for some to behave badly due to their pain.

  3. I just noticed your listings for the curvy women of the world, and commend you!!! There are many that are new to me, and I plan to save all of these. Kudos! RO

    1. Thank you.
      we are not all a size 3 though what we have in common with the 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s and 6s of the world is that we love to look good and feel good.

  4. I always enjoy reading these posts of yours. It exposes me to the realities of your world.


You Are Enough. Right here, Right now, In this moment, YOU. ARE. ENOUGH!

By All Means Speak Your Mind. However, Please Observe These 3 Basic Rules.

1. No form of abuse is allowed, everyone is entitled to their point of view (pov) as we all see and articulate the world differently, be respectful and speak without offending.

2. Please stay on the topic of discussion

3. Agree to Disagree

So what say you?

Note: All content here are mine unless otherwise noted. All photographs are taken by me again, unless otherwise noted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...