Just the other day I was walking by the Dunkin Donuts on the corner of Broadway and Halsey in Brooklyn when a man, probably my age plus twenty years of hard living on the streets, limped up to me and asked me for a dime in order to get a cup of coffee, shaking the change in his hand he had already collected. I told him to come with me into the Dunkin Donuts, and had him order his coffee once we navigated the line and made it to the register. He got his coffee, thanked me and went on his way.
When the individual had approached me, I recognized him, having seen him begging in downtown Brooklyn, so he gets around, despite his limp. I swear, though, I’ve seen him before, before this, in another lifetime. Whenever I see someone begging, I wonder what his or her story is. There is always a story, what landed people on street corners, and I think I am wise enough never to judge.