When she pulled into the building parking spot, there was a man. Pacing. Back and forth. Back and forth.
"You okay?" she asked. She got out of the car and looked him over. He had no shoes or socks. His feet were browned from the sun and blackened by filth. Pacing. Back and forth. Back and forth.
His eyes were dark. They darted from left to right, keeping time with his feet. "What?"
"You okay? You need anything?" she asked again. She had gotten up that morning and decided that this was the day she'd make a difference, and as luck would have it, Fate had brought her the perfect specimen to save. "How about some shoes? I can go home and get you some shoes."
"Can't wear them." She looked at his moving feet, wondering why. If she could just figure it out, he'd have to take the shoes.
Quick drag on his cigarette butt. His flitting eyes passed hers. "You got any money?"
"I have a little," she said, looking him over again. "But I'm afraid you might use it on drugs." She knew he probably wasn't used to such raw honesty -- most people weren't -- but it was the only way she knew how to be.
"Yeah, I would use it for drugs."
Taken aback for a second, she decided her no-bullshit role modeling had rubbed off on him.
She closed the door to her new Lexus and stepped toward him. Opening her wallet, she skipped over the tens and twenties, and took out three dollars. "I'm going to give you this money, but I want you, as a favor to me, to use it on food. How about that?" Again a flit of the eyes before meeting hers. She had made a connection.
He took the money. There was no more back and forth, back and forth. Instead, he just walked away.
She entered her acupuncturist's office. It was 12 minutes past her appointment time. She really didn't want to brag about her kindness, but had no choice but to explain to her acupuncturist why she was late.
"I hope what you did didn't encourage him to stay in the same spot," the acupuncturist said after hearing her story.
"What? No," she said, annoyed that the woman would ruin her good mood. With the needles pricking her skin, she decided to continue her benevolence and forgive the acupuncturist for her not understanding the impact she made on the man's life.
Fifty minutes later, after a quick stretch and thank you, she headed back to the parking spot. As she pressed the remote to unlock the door, she saw a figure crouching in front of her car. It was the man, holding a lighter to a crack pipe. He inhaled deeply and his dark eyes stilled, then closed.
She watched him for a moment before getting into the driver seat, the smell of new leather filling her nostrils.
"If only he took the shoes," she said to herself, driving off, the radio blasting.