Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tis The Season To Go Hungry

I saw something, yesterday, that I hadn't seen in a long time. In fact, I'm not even sure I had ever seen it with my own eyes, before and not just in a movie.

I was feeling sick to my stomach, last night. The supper I'd planned wouldn't have set well, and we were out, anyway, so I suggested we swing by KFC/Taco Bell, where my family could get whatever and I could just get mashed potatoes & white gravy. As we waited on our order, I noticed an older man come in and a few seconds later, I heard him order just a cup of hot water. I wasn't really paying attention. I guess at the time, I probably assumed he took it to go and needed it to thaw something on his car or some-such. Our number was called a minute or two later, we grabbed our to-go bag and turned to leave.

As I turned, the older gentleman's eyes met mine and we exchanged warm smiles. He was seated in the dinng room. What he was doing, though, took a couple of minutes to register - he was emptying a ketchup packet into his hot water to make hobo soup. I was so stunned I didn't react as I should have, I SHOULD have given him my meal -- sparse as it was, it was more than he had to eat. I will long regret that I did not react quickly and correctly to offer my meal in trade for his. Perhaps if I had not felt ill, I might have had my wits more fully about me, in the moment. Instead, I wasted precious time processing, over and over, whether what I'd just seen was real.

This gentleman was no bum. His attire wasn't new, but it wasn't shabby. He was clean and shaven. And he wasn't whining or moaning, he was smiling. I've memorized his face - if I see him again - and this being such a small town, it's not unlikely that I will, he will not go hungry that day.

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