I just had one of the greatest experiences of my life.
I was going to get a hair cut in Main Street Santa Monica, near Venice Beach, and came across a homeless man asking for spare change. This is as common as seeing a hipster in Brooklyn, I know. He asked me for change and I told I didn’t have any, which I didn’t, and went on my way. I’m not one of those bleeding hearts who gives every homeless person money. I would be broker than I already am if I did that on the regular. But there are times when the moment strikes and I’ll give someone a $5 or $10 bill. I’m not sure often it happens or even why it happens, but the moment struck me after my hair cut. I was crossing the street with my brand new ‘do and trimmed beard, telling myself if my homie was still sitting on the street, then I would buy him a Foot Long combo meal at Subway.
I turn the corner and there he is, hanging out on his blanket. Operation ‘Good Deed for the Day’ is on. I swoop into the Subway I passed on the way to my ‘barber’ and all of sudden a tornado of questions begin to bounce around my well coiffed dome like lottery balls. What the fuck do I get him? Should I get him something crazy, like one of the new chicken breast deals, or stay classic with a meatball? Do I get flat-bread or one of the premier breads with cheese on top? I wonder if he likes avocado or bacon? Oh, shit. What about the chips and drink? Focus and get your shit together, damn you! He’s gonna like whatever you get him.
I end up going completely classic. Turkey with American cheese on white with everything on it. Large Coke and Lay’s Original chips. Can’t go wrong with that. I pay for my friend’s meal and a smile slowly creeps its way across my face like the Cheshire Cat. I walk up to the guy and say ‘Excuse, me. You hungry?’ I couldn’t tell how old he was before because of the dirt and long beard. Actually his beard wasn’t much longer than mine, to tell you the truth. But he looks up at me, with these piercing blue eyes a Tommy Hilfiger model wished they had, and I can tell he’s probably somewhere in his 40’s.
He says, ‘Yeah. Always.’
‘Here ya go, buddy.’ I say as I hand him the plastic bag and put the large drink and straw like chess pieces on the sidewalk near his blanket.
This is where it gets amazing. He says, ‘What is this, Subway?’ I nod and tell him what’s in the bag.
‘I don’t usually eat Subway. Thanks though…’ I’m thinking it’s because he doesn’t eat often or something having to do with living on the streets. But I see him put the sandwich behind the pillar he’s leaning against, almost saying, ‘Thanks but no thanks.’
I ask, ‘Are you going to eat that?’
I swear on my life this is what he mumbles, ‘Yeah, I guess. Thanks. I just don’t normally eat that type of shit. Subway, ya know? Thanks though.’
I laughed and told him to have a good day and he told me the same. I couldn’t believe I was worried what type of sandwich to get him, when I should’ve been worried about where to get his meal. It’s probably because the bread is made from yoga mats or something.
I hope he knows it was one of the greatest moments of life.