"No, sorry. No cash," I say. I wonder where he's going to put the gas since he doesn't have a gas can with him.
He quickly moves to another woman eating alone and asks for change. I see her give his a few coins and he exits the restaurant.
I can see him moving from car to car at the nearby stoplight. I assume he's asking for more change. He goes over to the AutoBell across the street and they shoo him away. He is circling around the stopped cars at the light again - like a buzzard. That thought makes me cold and I wonder if I've really become that judgmental.
I finish my sandwich and stop to talk to the woman who gave him change. She said she gave him 40 cents because it was "just 40 cents and it wouldn't break her." I told her that I didn't give him money. She said she's been burned before by panhandlers and usually doesn't give them money and didn't feel good about giving him money but did so anyway. I wished her well and left.
As I was approaching the light to cross, I see the beggar pull from the bushes a bicycle. He jumps on it and rides off down the road. I shake my head. I guess it wasn't gas he was wanting to buy with his money after all.
He was begging for change but it's not the kind of change you'll find in your wallet. It's the kind of change you will find within yourself.
Savor the details.