Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Beggin at Dunkin

She was standing near the Walmart parking lot at the entrance to Dunkin Donuts. It was a perfect spot  because there was a stop sign. You had to stop and look at her and she was looking straight into your eyes. Some drivers stared ahead while others sped through the stop sign as fast as they could. I looked at her and a small child seated next to her. Holding a sign that said, I LOST MY JOB I HAVE TWO KIDS I NEED HELP PLEASE GOD BLESS, she looked desperate. Was she? I thought about her as I went in for coffee. Maybe she was scamming us using her son as bait. Or perhaps someone else set her up for this and he or she will pocket the money. My wife does this, imagining the possible back stories of people we encounter. I was doing it now. Could be she was just who she presented herself to be. Down on her luck with no one to watch her son as she begged. Her job was gone and she had no one to look out for her. Why else would she be out at Walmart looking for help? And that poor kid - I thought of him telling his story years later about how Mom dragged him to entrance ramps trying to get some money for food. With coffee in hand I drove back to the stop sign. She looked right at me while her son looked down at the ground. When I rolled down my window she sprang forward hopeful. I handed her some money. Oh thank you sir, God bless you; she spoke with a foreign accent I couldn't quite place. I mumbled God bless you too wondering at the same time what that meant. I drove off so I didn't hold up traffic. Others crept up to the sign.  She was looking straight at them. Would any one stop? What back story did they come up with?

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