Ten Dollars

An old man walked up to me and asked

for ten dollars.

I asked him why he needed it.

He said he was retired and on a fixed income

needing money for a prescription or some kind of medication

I couldn’t understand the name of.

(what costs only ten dollars, these days, especially prescribed drugs? So, this made me have

my doubts about why he wanted ten dollars. I mean, he would still be panhandling, even though he was purchasing something of a legitimate nature with my ten dollars…)

I think I heard him right.

He kept mumbling something.

I am not entirely sure of that, though.

I mean, I wondered if I was hearing him mumble his words.

I was not sure.

I heard what I thought was mumbling when he kept turning

his head away from me.

(otherwise, his words were crystal clear. I shouldn’t say that because I

am still unsure what I am hearing or not hearing…)

I was wondering if this guy was all there.

(because of when I thought he was mumbling. You know, there are those who do talk to

invisible people, dogs and cats, etc. I didn’t know this old coot, so I was wondering. Hey, how would I know if he was goanna pull out a knife on me or not? I was keeping a close eye on what his hands were doing…)

He was dressed OK.

He was dressed as good as me, in a Polo shirt

and short pants probably from Kmart.

I recognized them.

I mean, the shorts.

He probably got the shirt from Walmart.

I recognized it.


I said that I was retired, too.

Then, he said ‘he was my son, or thanks son, or it was a sunny day,’ something like that.

(I think he was mumbling or it could have been I didn’t hear him well because my hearing must be off. I won’t go to the ear doctor because they would find something else wrong and would want to operate on me. I am saying ‘what did you say and huh,’more and more especially to my wife these days. But, then, my wife seems to be doing it as much to me…)

I asked him to repeat himself.

He did not.

He stood there looking at me with a wondering look like he wanted me to do something like my dog and cats so often do.

(it’s usually feeding time or snack time with the animals or when they want to play.

But, I wasn’t so sure about this ten dollar thing)

He didn’t make me nervous standing his ground staring at me, but

I didn’t reach and get my wallet out of my back pocket.

I noticed him eyeing my front shirt pocket.

He asked me if he could borrow my pen.

At least, that’s what I thought he was asking me.

So, I asked him how long he needed it.

(He said ‘thanks, or hanks, or cranks, or he was simply playing a prank,’ I don’t know, something like that I think, because he was mumbling again or I still didn’t hear him well for some reason. Maybe, a car drove by drowning his voice out. I don’t know, I can’t remember…)

He waved and walked in the Hallmark store.

After that, I stood there feeling like reading a book without the book even being there

(imagine me, holding an invisible book in my hands, then proceeding to read it out loud)

But, I was there for a purpose.

Not to give away ten dollars, but to do some shopping.

So, I turned and wheeled out a cart and pushed it a few doors down to the grocery store.

I always do the shopping.

I’m the modern day hunter

who brings home the daily catch

in a plastic bag.

when I paid the bill at the cashier’s, I got a twenty cash back.

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