A cautionary tale
I walked down the stairs to the subway platform and saw a man with no hands with a sign around his neck asking for money. I walked past him, opened my wallet, took out a dollar and walked back to give it to him.
As I walked back, I was struck with panic. “Oh my God, how is he going to grab the dollar?” And I almost turned back the other way because moments of social awkwardness make me cringe that much. That I would contemplate reneging my dollar to the handless guy.
Then I noticed that he had a backpack around his neck under the sign with enough of it unzipped so I could slip the dollar in there. Phew.
I began to put the dollar in the unzipped backpack and the guy opened his mouth. So I thought he wanted me to put the dollar in his mouth. Does he eat it? Is this a magic trick? I don’t know, I didn’t read the sign. This was getting so complicated.
I’m pretty sure the guy was just opening his mouth to thank me. And I would have known for sure if I had my music off and my headphones out of my ears. But I didn’t bother turning my music off. Wouldn’t want to miss a second of the Rihanna “Pour It Up” remix (for the seventh time in a row).
I know we’ve become the “look down society,” as we’re never paying attention to anything other than the little computers we carry with us at all times. But I’ve become so accustomed to completely disengaging from every human I encounter in public every day that I almost put a dollar in a handless beggar’s mouth.
Save yourselves. I’m a goner.