So I'm driving home after school today to pick up a few bucks to follow on my daily after-school routine of going to the local chipotle, eat and do homework there for a few hours. I had spent about 4 of my 7 dollars today on lunch and had $2 in my pocket left with bit of change. I got home and am just leaving when my dad asks me about my homework situation, and if its light, to go pick up food, handing to me a twice carefully examined list of what to buy, and a crisp hundred dollar bill which I would use to pay for the items on the list (and return with change of course). I put the beauty in my pocket, along with the list of goods.
I leave my house and take 4th street to canyon, turn left on broadway (one of the larger intersections within my humble town, prime real estate for hobo sign-holding). I see a hairy, gross, old man holding a sign with his choice of words, something like: "Anything helps, homeless, will work for money. God Bless." The light turns yellow then red, I come to a slow stop in my family's '07 Toyota Prius, right in front of him. Then it hits me, the same conflict that hits anyone in that horrible position. There I am in a swanky little white rich boy car with a man next to me who owns nothing, asking for anything. I have two dollars in my pocket that mean little to me, and would make a world of difference to him. I go back and forth in my mind comparing the pros, cons, and possible outcomes of the situation. I reach into my pocket and grab what I thought was the $2 left over from lunch today, still in the little bundle of dollar bills where I left them around noon. I roll down the passenger side window and make visible the money in my hand. The man does a slow jog over to the car and looks me in the eye and leaves with a "thank you, god bless." The light conveniently turns green as he turns around and I feel like a local hero; there must have been 40-50 cars stopped at that corner, many saw that I had compassion. Even in my flawless, environmentally conscious hybrid, I had still not forgot about the little guy in society. I was smiling on the inside.
So I get to the local grocery store (wild oats), I spend about 15 minutes or so going through the isles, getting everything on the list; I get to the cashier, the kind woman scans all the food and gives me a total. I dig through my pockets and find no trace of anything resembling the feel of money. It hit me hard and fast. My dad's money was no longer in my possession. About 10 minutes earlier, that homeless man had realized the greatest gift he had recieved in a long time.
I dunno what to think about it. Hopefully he'll spend it on something good, I'm not going to ask for it back. I came back later and payed for the groceries with my own money.