« tagline from the christian station | Main | more than a penny »

can you spare one penny?

There's this guy who lives in my neighborhood...but on the street, you know...dirty jacket and white scruffy beard and sort of confused...you know the type.

I noticed him because, well, because he's always in my hood, but also because he always asks for one penny. "Can you spare one penny?" I offered to buy him a burger one day and he said, "If I was hungry, that would be just the thing, but I'm not hungry."

"You should ask for a dollar," I said.

"I should do a lot of things," said he. I thought about carrying around pennies all the time so I could give him one whenever he asked. I thought about him a lot. I felt like it was dishonest to just ask for a penny when you damn well know that if anyone is going to give you any money it's going to be more than a penny. Why not just ask for what you need? I tripped about it a little. But then I saw him again this morning. I saw him making the rounds and realized that I had one dollar in my pocket and I was not going to be a snot...I was going to give it to him. I missed my walk sign waiting for him, and finally he approached.

He must have been really hard up, "Do you have any pennies you can spare?" he asked. Whoa...multiple pennies.

"I don't have any pennies," I said truthfully, and paused...suddenly not sure for some reason, but then, "I do have a dollar though, do you take dollars."

"Yes," he said, "I'll take a dollar, that would really help." He caught onto my confusion a little and he said, "I can only ask for pennies...that's just how I am. I can't even ask for spare change...just pennies. That's just how I am."