The Man Off the Train


A man approached me during a lightning storm this past evening, asking for help for food and an umbrella. He was very clearly mentally disabled, a child lost in a heartless world. I stopped to talk to him for a while and handed him what change I could. We spoke for about 10 minutes – to his capacity of such – and he finally revealed to me his intentions with the change he had been gathering. It was too late to ask for the change to be returned to me, but I knew he had little hope of stopping the impulse to abuse cocaine that night.

Reluctantly I wished him well and parted ways with him to continue to walk home in the violent storm. But part of me wishes I could have done more, and the other wishes I wouldn’t have done anything at all.

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