I went to return Twilight at Borders. I was so amazed that they were open until 8pm on Christmas Eve. Sucks to be working there. I DO have to work at 8pm Christmas Day. No biggie, though. All the hubbub will be done by then. Traffic was pretty bad. Everyone rushing home to their families after work. I took Mentor, the one-way street, grateful that I’ve lived here so long that I know the shortcuts. I was passing the backside of Ralph’s when I noticed it was starting to rain. What a nice thing for Christmas. We don’t get snow so, rain is as close as we get to snowflakes. I’ll take it.
That’s when I noticed her. She was sitting on her lawn chair, close to the curb. She’s going to get wet! All of her belongings, a shopping cart full of what I would consider junk, were parked next to her and covered with a blue tarp.
Homelessness is so sad. There are cynics out there who are ready with their stereotypical response:
“They’re all addicts”
“Why don’t they get a job? Lazy.”
“They WANT to live on the streets”
And, my favorite, the thing I hear the most at work:
“Homeless people make the city look so ugly. Get them out of Pasadena”
My eyes got all watery as I thought of her alone, wet, homeless and lonely on Christmas Eve. The saddest part is, I should feel just as bad for her on any old Wednesday. I decided to stop somewhere and buy her a cup of coffee. That didn’t feel like enough for Christmas. I would buy her a pastry, too. By the time I got to Borders, I felt like I had an Angel and a Devil on my shoulders, persuading me:
She’s going to throw that coffee in your face…
She stretches out her hand to you, in need…
She probably has a weapon on her, don’t be surprised if she shanks you…
Coffee & sweets- a nice wish for a Merry Christmas…
The Twilight series table was the first thing I saw as I walked into Borders. I’m sure it’s the book to buy this year. I picked up my copy of Eclipse, ready to go make the exchange. As I walked away from the register, the Borders employee handed me a coupon:
With any medium or large coffee purchase, receive a free pastry. Equal or lesser value.
What more could I ask for?
I drove back and gave her a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie. She looked up at me with grateful eyes and gave me a toothless grin:
“Thank You. God Bless”
God Bless YOU, Homeless Lady. I am already blessed. And, that’s why it was so easy for me to pass it on to you.