It was one saturday in summer around seven in the morning, we were like soldiers in line at attention waiting for a bus. Weekends schedules are slower, the line was considerably long, I got there almost at the end of the line, though, eight people came after me. Most had their earphones on, standing still, watching and looking out at one another or staring blankly at nothing on a quiet morning. The fresh morning, characterized by serenity and slow rhythm of the early dawn was enough to tell me I could continue catching another thirty minutes of sleep once inside the bus to fill up my five hour sleep the night before. While I close my eyes, I hear a sweet voice, but, pleading and begging for a dollar. Out of the corner of my eyes I see her taking one step each to get from one person to the other, with the same begging voice and it wouldn’t be long before I get my turn. I remained in my position, standing and staying still, wishing to get invincible, wishing that voice to quiet down as it disturbs the rhythm of peace I was in. Digging into my purse is a strenuous physical activity that will entail the use of my arms and mind that will eventually wake me up. I really don’t have time for mercy. Coming face to face and witness this woman’s eyes and face begging for a measly dollar is the last thing on my mind. I want sleep.
“Couldn’t one of those eight or nine people behind hand her over a dollar to this lady”. I wanted to shout back. Her voice gets louder, reverberating and echoing,
“A dollar please”, five times, six, that voice is right on my ear now and I am trapped. I know the only way to stop this voice is give what she wants, so I pulled two bills from my purse and hand it over as soon as she got in front of me.
After laying the money on her palms, her eyes grew wide, her face lit up, looking from her palm to my face repeatedly saying,
“thank you, thank you”. Her arms bend forward to mine, ready to give me a hug, getting money by begging scared the hell out of her, so used to people who are deaf and blind from her crying. She wanted to stay and talk to me, but there was nothing to talk about, we were not friends. The bus may come anytime sooner, she wanted to turn to another person in line, but she was so embarrassed that she turned away.