We’re in Chicago, and on our way to a Whole Foods. My brother and I have been traveling around the city with our whole family, so it’s a relief for it to be just the two of us. All I want is a salad bar.
On our way in we pass two men sitting about fifty feet apart, both requesting help of any kind. The second one spoke to us.
“Can you help?”
“I don’t have anything.”
“You can get something in there.”
“What do you want?”
“A hot breakfast sandwich and some juice? It’s hard, because I can’t chew.”
Once inside we realize that, since it’s 2pm, a hot breakfast sandwich will be hard to find. We put together two bags, each with a fortified juice, hot chicken, and some watermelon.
We hand a bag to the man who spoke to us, then head down the block to where the second man sits.
“Would you like some food?”
“Oh thank you!”
“May I sit with you?”
In only a few minutes, Duncan and I will cross the street, and stand on the corner of State and Huron, looking at a map on my phone to see where to go next, and I’ll regret not sitting with David longer. We have no plans to rush off to. I’ll regret not stopping to talk to the first man. But in this moment I sit with David, and try to make small talk.
“You’re the most dapper man on the street that I’ve ever seen!”
He tells me about a man who bought clothes for him: four shirts, two suit jackets, and matching pants.
“And there was another man, he was on his way out of town, rolling his suitcase behind him, and he didn’t have any cash. But he gave me his shoes and they fit perfectly!” He straightens his legs, showing us the clean loafers on his feet.
I thank him for his time, and stand up.
“God bless you, both of you.”
We smile and say the same.