The Bum

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.


  1. Dipo says:

    That is nice ma brother.We have to be our brothers keeper.There are many
    men out there who do not have what to eat we have to do smth nice to at
    least one person a day.

  2. Agatonaa says:

    Indeed not just my saviour or earth angel but a person with a big heart as well. Now you know what your heart tells you. We need more of you in this world..Give little of what we have for it is big for others…

  3. Thanks Agatonaa. I believe we’re in this world to help others.

  1. […] I love to give, but preoccupation with myself had perhaps loosened some bolts in my head. I’ve been giving in unexpected places for the past two weeks or so, and I believe things are looking up now. […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.