Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Incident at a Starbucks

Here I am minding my own business at a Center City Starbucks, settled in a deep corner table out of sight of just about everybody, nursing a "tall" (small) paper cup of hot tea, lost in reading the free Metro newspaper. Suddenly I notice a very tall and gaunt black man standing over me saying he's homeless and hungry while simultaneously two female Starbucks baristas are at his elbows, scarcely coming up to his elbows in height, telling the tall man he has to leave and he's muttering to them he's not going to he's homeless and hungry. Stalemate.

Why had he come up to me, out of all the people in the room at least a dozen? Had he passed the others by? Had he zeroed in on the only sap in the clean place who might give him a smidgen of sympathy? (Or better, money?) Granted, I was the only occupant who appeared not to be a stone-cold-heartless-absorbed-in-talk-or-a-laptop-well-dressed-and-professional-balls-to-the-wall yuppie. But still: Why me?

"They're giving away free food at City Hall," I told the man, looking at him between the two frantically upset baristas. "Right now. The Occupy people."

The three contestants moved away from me. I returned to reading my newspaper.

1 comment:

BradyDale said...

It's true. They are. I know Occupy Wall Street is having a problem with it, though. At a certain point, if Occupy becomes nothing more than a gravy train for free loaders it's going to be wrecked by the very people that the system is letting down.

This kind of stuff raises really tough questions, but I don't think the answer is "If we aren't about giving all the free food we can to homeless people than we're not any better than the oligarchy."

Then again, I'm not out there and I have no intion to go out there, so who am I to say.