Lady, can you spare a dime?

by Debra Efroymson

A few decades ago, walking in Boston, a very dirty homeless man asked me for spare change. I dropped a couple of coins into his palm, doing my best not to touch him. He then put his hand in his pocket, took out all the coins, and said, “I have about ten dollars. Do you want to go for a drink?” I was amused but most of all pleased that he had not noticed how horrified I was by his filth. Why insult someone needlessly? I explained that I was on my way to meet someone, we smiled at each other, and that was that.

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