* At a red light today I observed a man street-side clutching an artistically adorned sign proclaiming, “Need money for food.” Flowers radiated from the letters, colors entwining. The thirty-something man sported a department-store sweater similar to one I recently witnessed at Macys, well-fitting jeans, and dusky tennis shoes. Curious, I revolved the window down and inquired, “Where do you live?”
He replied, specifying a superior neighborhood location.
Me: “So you’re not a bum.”
Poser: “Na, just unemployed.”
* My mom’s office resides next to a Trader Joe’s in Santa Rosa, constantly inundated with a bum at the parking lot entrance. A few months ago my mom and a few co-workers stood in their office’s entryway, watching as a quality Station Wagon halted and a younger man emerged from the driver’s seat. He ambled to the rear of the automobile, plunked a wheelchair from the trunk, and brandished it, loops over his head. He settled it on the ground, sauntered to the passenger side, and kissed his significant other good-bye. She materialized, loped around the car to the driver’s seat, and drove away. He gazed about, resolved nobody’s focus on himself, and slumped into the chair, slothfully wheeling, deflated facial expression. He positioned at the parking lot entrance with a sign declaring, “I’m handicapped, please help.”