Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I share a coffee

I'm standing outside a low-income building in downtown Seattle, waiting for my disabled friend to meet me.

The sidewalk here is so fantastic, in a  Frederico Fellini sort of way. I'm away from the doorway, with my back to the curb, partly for my sense of safety, partly to watch the floor show. I'm drinking a non-fat, short latte, leaning on a mail box.

Suddenly in my face, a bearded figure I've seen before. He's memorable for his great beard, his diminutive size, his persistent pan-handling.

"Hey-you-done-with-that?" he asked, quick staccato words. He's pointing at my half-gone latte.

He's panhandling a coffee?  What the heck.

I gave him the coffee.

He turned on his heel, went over to the building, sat down on the sidewalk with a fully contented look. I nodded at him. He smiled, imperceptibly. It was like we had become coffee partners, like some sort of sci-fi ritual.

Maybe he'll save my life in the future.


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