I Walked from Work to the Market This Evening

I walked from work to the market this evening, needing to pick up some beef broth to stretch the soup I’m taking to a potluck later tonight. On the sidewalk outside the market stood a man, gray and probably cold in the zero degree dusk. He wore a coat; I could not tell how thick or protective. He held a sign saying something like “In need” or “Please help”; I can’t remember the exact wording, but the message was familiar.

What I can remember is the hashtag on his cardboard sign: #MAGA, written vertically down the right-hand side.

I walk toward him. “Does a sandwich sound good?” I ask him, thinking of the pre-made sandwiches inside the market. Quick, easy, nutritious, no utensils required; I don’t know what supplies he carries with him.

“No, what would be better is a baguette and some cheese; I can make my own sandwich,” he tells me. “Cheddar. And those little mayonnaise packets, I don’t know if you know where they are. And a bag for everything.”

I smile. I’m taken back by the specificity of his requests. Beggars, if he is indeed that, can be choosers. Continue reading