Saturday, May 8, 2010
I had parked my car at a meter on East Carson. They check the meters until 6pm. It was 5:50 with no meter cops in sight. I figured it was a safe gamble to save a quarter. I was on my way to meet my wife for dinner at a Thai place down the street and then see a show. It was well below freezing on the street that night. Single digits, with the wind chill factored in. About three car lengths down, sitting on the stoop of a closed storefront, was a homeless guy. He was dressed relatively warmly, and sitting upright. He had his knees tucked up to his chest, and he was politely asking passersby for anything they could spare. I walked off in the other direction to hit an ATM, because I’m an asshole and I needed cash for dinner and the show. I took out about $80. With 4 twenties and a single in my wallet, I walked back to my car to get my hat. I hadn’t thought I would need it, but walking a block to the ATM convinced me otherwise. As I returned to the car, I saw the homeless guy still sitting there. He didn’t say anything. I pulled out a dollar, walked over, and gave it to him. I suggested that he go get warm, feeling ridiculous as I said it…like my dollar was going to warm him up. He said, “Thanks man. I wasn’t gonna ask again. I’m holed up under the bridge tonight, just tryin’ ta get warm. I caught my girlfriend cheatin’ on me and beat the shit outta the guy. So she called the police and kicked me out. I spent two months in jail, and lost my job. I used to detail cars at Don Allen Chevrolet. I just need a new job. I’d rather be workin’. I’ll be all right though. I won’t be out here long. You have a good night, man.“ I thanked him, smiled, and repeated my suggestion of, “Try to stay warm.” It was all I had the energy to say. It was freezing fucking cold. I grabbed my hat and walked down to the Thai place.