The man outside the station got me again. Popping out of nowhere so fast I caught my breath and clutched by chest. I took a step back and he just moved closer to me.
“Could you spare some change so I can get something to eat?” His eyes darted around like he was chasing a fly and he spoke a mile a minute. “I’ve asked so many people and I know times are tough but I just need some change for some fries or something and I’ve asked everyone but no one can help me and….”
It was the same speech I’d heard from him the last two times. Not that it wasn’t all true, but it made me want to run from him, not help him out.
But I didn’t run. I fumbled in my pocket to find some money. For although I’d been startled, he hadn’t really surprised me. That’s the saddest thing of all.
P.S. Montreal folk legend Kate McGarrigle (sister to Anna and mom to musicians Rufus and Martha Wainwright) lost her battle with cancer this week. Here’s one of my favourite McGarrigle songs.