Saturday, January 26, 2008

Last night

You looked so worried and edgy when you stopped me to ask for money as I walked into the store. I told you I didn't have any, because all I had was a $20 and no singles. When I went in the store though, I couldn't help but look back at you, at how you were pacing a single square of sidewalk like a caged animal in the zoo. It was so cold, but you only had on a thin jacket.

As I shopped I tried to tell myself that you'd probably be gone by the time I got back outside. I tried not to think about you, but all my mind could do was justify why I shouldn't give you any money. You were probably just going to spend it on drugs.

I left the store and started loading my bags in the car, and saw movement out of the corner of my eye. You were still there, still pacing, still looking desperate. I was resolved though, so I got in my car to leave. As I was driving away though, something kept telling me I would regret it if I didn't help you. I actually stopped and argued with myself at the stop sign, but the feeling just kept getting stronger that I needed to go back. But all I have is that damned $20! Then I thought about all the help I have received from people throughout my life. I'm so lucky to know that if I need something, there are so many different people I can turn to for help.

At the last minute I turned the car around and pulled into a space a few rows down from you. I got out and handed you the money. Your face broke my heart. You looked empty; like a shell. Hollow. Your expression never changed, you just took the money and left, but that's ok. I didn't want your grattitude.

When I got back in the car I started sobbing, thinking about what you were probably going to do with that money. My love knew just what to say. "Even if she is on drugs, that doesn't mean she isn't hurting."

So I can only hope. Maybe this will be the place where you hit bottom, and look for help. I'm not going to fool myself into thinking you spent it on food or a coat at the Salvation Army. Logically it seemed wrong, but something in me felt like it was the right thing to do, felt like I would remember you and regert it if I didn't give you that money. It was only $20. I have been given so much more.