Lent 2011 Part II
It took me at least 15 minutes walking around downtown today to find anybody in need of lunch. The gentleman I found was a very homeless African American about my age or a little younger. He was in the process of getting lunch out of a trash can in Westlake Park. As I approached behind him he opened one of those dipping containers of ranch dressing and started licking it out.
I asked him if I could buy him lunch and he said okay. I said he could go anywhere he wanted and he suggested McDonalds...I mentioned a place around the corner I hadn't been to but silently figured it had to be better than McDonalds and he said that sounded good so we went to Georgio's Subs He looked fairly healthy but he must have had a leg injury because he walked very slowly. At first I didnt' know if he was just trying to not embarrass me by walking next to me but when I slowed down, his pace didn't change and I finally noticed a very slight limp. He got a meatball sub but they didn't have coffee so we went next door to get him a cup of black coffee.
I left him with $10 because I wanted to keep him out of the trash can for at least one more meal...but his situation still leaves me feeling sick and depressed...not that I hadn't seen other people doing the same thing before... Nobody deserves to live off my trash. His demeanor was definitely not inviting me to eat with him, though I didn't ask. Now I find myself near tears as I sit down to lunch and open my packet of starburst with my egg salad sandwich -- I realized on my way back up the hill to work that it's Friday and I'd ordered a turkey sub for myself so I stuck it in the fridge and went across the street to get another, more appropriate, sandwich (no meat).
I don't know what to say about today's experience. I'm overwhelmed by the need to keep doing this more and more and at the same time I know I can't afford to do it too much, or even much more than I am right now to be honest...money sucks. It's a strange feeling but it seems like it's a lot harder, emotionally and materialistically, to give to someone with great needs than it is to give to someone with moderate needs.
Even failblog is failing to cheer me up right now...which, I suppose, is a good thing.