Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Beggars in Cars

Beggars in Cars
The beggars in cars drive up beside me as I head towards the parking lot.
"Excuse me" she says.
I look at a small shrunken face, school teacher glasses and pulled back dirty blonde hair. Her bare arms show the leper's disease of vitilago and instantly the scorn on my face softens.
The pale mottled skin reminds me of my father.
"We're on our way to Calgary, and we have no money for gas. Could you spare even a quarter?"
Her companion holds a half swilled bottle of gatorade, and smiles. It's not food they want but gas.
I actually don't have any change, or I just might help out.
"Sorry, no I reply" and they smile as I head to my own vehicle that sits full of gas, but I've worked very hard for it that day.
Their plea was unrehearsed, and unpracticed unlike those the previous day who were asking at the gas station.
Has this kind of poverty always been around?
I've gotten so used to the people sitting on the street with their baseball caps, signs and squeegies to wipe your window, the shopping cart cavalcade who walk down the back alleys at night looking for anything that might aid in their depression.
I now think to scan the parking lot as I get into my vehicle. A new kind of wariness for the beggars in cars.

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