I had just crossed the street and was heading towards Hogan Hall. I had my take-out dinner in one hand, a 33oz can of lemonade in the other.
Someone called out behind me. I turned around to look – I’d never seen him before. I’m short-sighted but I hate wearing glasses so I took a few steps forward for a closer look at him.
He was a tramp, or at least I’d consider him one from what I’ve read about tramps. He had wild salt-and-pepper hair which he had tucked under a baseball cap, hunched shoulders and looked very thin. I judged him to be somewhere in his fifties.
He was saying something but his accent was like one I’d never heard before. We had some problems understanding each other — he couldn’t pick my Nigerian accent and I couldn’t get his.
I’m ashamed to admit some thoughts about psychotic killers flashed through my head – thanks to the millions of books I read. From looking at him however, I assumed if it came to the worst, I could probably throw him over my head.
I managed to catch the word “quarter” from his ramblings. He mentioned beer too. I felt sorry for the guy so I placed my dinner on the wall and emptied my pockets. I had about 80-something cents altogether which I put in his outstretched gnarled hand. Some dimes fell to the ground and I picked them up for him.
He thanked me very much – ‘appreciate it man!’ – in a very thin and raspy voice. I nodded to him as he slouched off down the street.
I shook my head as I walked inside. It was then I realized I should have offered him my sandwich — or my entire dinner. God knows when next he’ll get a meal.