The sun in April is already blazing, burning your tender alabaster skin to the color of freshly steamed lobster. Hustler or vagabond, it doesn’t matter. Your need grabs my attention before you speak. You stumble over words in a quest for assistance. Just three dollars, an odd sum and one likely to garner you a larger bill in any case.
Your cause is just. A child, ill and in need of food. Just three dollars between you and the goal. Three dollars is all you ask for. Your target, a woman, not too old or two young. Someone likely to have children and not yet over whelmed or maybe just in deep enough that she can see the desperation in someone else’s voice. It is there. In your voice, in your question, desperation. It doesn’t matter if your story is a lie or the truth. The desperation is real and thick in the air between us.
Reaching into my bag, I don’t even wait for you to finish your plea before I but the money in your hand. I look only for a moment, lingering for just a second on the crisp twenty and then it is yours. You talk for a moment, I answer your questions, hoping you will listen, knowing that the chances of you seeking assistance where I direct are slim. Still, I spoke the words meant for you and say my peace. Grateful you haven’t thank god for my assistance.
Smiling as I go. It wasn’t a Christian thing to do. It was the right thing to do.
And I know by the laws of the old Gods that if you were lying and took my money, then the trick is twisted against you. Enjoy the web that you have woven.