Saturday, May 14, 2005

Contingent Friendships - 1

These days when my car rolls up at the traffic crossing, the beggar turns and walks to the row of vehicles on my left. If after the detour the lights still haven't changed, he approaches me, looking quizzical. Just to say hello and tip his hat at me. He doesn't ask for money anymore. If I take out a coin from my wallet, that's fine, else he walks on to the car behind mine.

Ever since I'd started a chatty conversation with him more than a month back, he avoids me. And I avoid him, keeping my eyes fixed on the book in my lap till he is actually near my window. As though we know something shameful about each other.

7 comments:

Morquendi said...

What was the chatty conversation about?

Ubermensch said...

about shame perhaps...?

Monica said...

Two wit too woo

Ralph said...

Hello Monica,
I had a similar experience with someone in Hobart. I haven't seen this chap for ages now, over a year, but he used to walk the streets with his two dogs, approaching and usually asking for a small amount of money, thirty or forty cents, not enough to buy anything much with at all, not even enough to buy a newspaper. Sometimes I'd give him a few coins, though I'm probably more broke than he is - but if you have to ask....

Anonymous said...

the beggar meets bagger.

- jes another writer

mohitunbound said...

Used to happen to me when I was studying in Philadelphia and used to do post midnight raids to the local 7-11 or Wawa to get hot dogs or coffee. There was a guy there who started calling me "big guy" after I bought him coffee and a doughnut several times during freshman year. Then I fell in love, lost weight, he didnt recognize me anymore. And stopped asking me anything. And I didnt feel safe going down that block anymore. So I told him who I was and felt safer at 3am because a homeless man new who I was and was waiting for his coffee.

Monica said...

Ralph, Mohit: hello & thanks for sharing your experiences. I pass by 2 or 3 traffic signals on my way to work, and there are "regulars" at each who've become friendly faces. I'm trying to work out where these acquaintances are located in my life.