11:45a.m. Starbucks. It’s cold outside. Training day. A nice reprieve from work.

I sit and eat my overpriced sandwich and fruit. Black coffee. I read. Another Bullsh*t Night in Suck City. A Memoir. A man walks in. A drifter. Clearly homeless. Greased hair. Untrimmed beard. Beanie. Long underwear. A coat. Weathered face. Bright eyes.

He sits on a comfy chair. Mumbles indistinguishable words. They could have been more distinguishable if my headphones were not in my ears. My attempt at tuning out the world.

He sits. I notice. I do nothing. I could buy him something to eat. A warm drink. Talk to him. Make him feel human. Value his humanity despite his appearance. We are the same.

He gets up. Bends over—squats—in front of the sandwiches. He fills his coat pockets. Stuffs them. People stare. He shuffles out. People murmur. Flag down an employee.

Minutes pass.

I feel regret.
I didn’t help him.
I prayed this morning. Prayed that I would honor God today.
I remembered too late.

He walks back in. Cops are called. He goes to the restroom. Santa Claus suit. Maybe his mind isn’t right.

He leaves in costume. Cops come. They chase him. People murmur. People stare. Some laugh. I regret. I’m affected. Never again. It won’t happen again.

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