After spending the majority of my first afternoon in Nashville shopping, I backtracked to a few photo spots. I was waiting at a corner for the light to change when a bum approached me and asked how I was. Wanting to be polite, I responded I was well and asked, what turned out to be, a twenty minute question.
“How are you doing?”
I’m sure am hungry.
Don’t take the bait. “I know! I haven’t eaten for hours and until I meet my sister later, I’m just going to have to deal with my stomach growling.”
I am thirsty too.
Don’t fall for this. “Me too! I’ve run out of water and can’t find a drinking fountain anywhere! It’s just so hot out.”
Um, I know. And when it’s hot, people get mean. I just got cussed out by some guy right in front of his young daughter.
He isn’t asking for money…this is different. “Sorry to hear that.”
Yea, all I did was ask for something to eat and he started yelling at me, like I’m a bum or something. When I ask people for money it’s because I’m hungry and I want some soup. I don’t do drugs anymore and drinking only makes you want more alcohol…
Hmm…you are wearing a hat indicating the time is 4:20. Back to the 'I don't do drugs'…what were you saying?
…I don’t even live here. I’m from Oregon.
Oregon?! “What brings you across the country? You a musician?”
No. I’m just a fool in love. I followed a woman out here and she broke my heart. Now I’m trying to get back home.
He actually sounds credible. Love makes people do stupid things. So I’m told anyway. “Home to Oregon?”
Uh huh. Except I’m stuck here. I got on the bus the other day but couldn’t afford a ticket. I got kicked off and thrown in jail. Then when I got released, I was told to quit begging for money. But I’ve got no money to get home so I’m stuck here.
We have walked two blocks now. Can I blog this without a picture? No one will believe this. I need his picture. Make up something. Think! “Sounds like a catch 22.”
I know! And then all I want is a meal and some water and I get cussed out. It’s just because I’ve got this backpack on and haven’t been able to shower every day.
Hence me not standing too close. “Sir, I have a favor to ask you. I’ve been inspired by your story and want a way to remember you. Would you mind taking a picture with me?”
Alright! I’m getting a picture! “Have you ever had someone want to take their picture with you?”
No. You are definitely a first.
“Well thank you for being willing. …now if we can just find someone... ‘Ma’am? Will you please take our picture?’”
*ClickYes! Proof for the blog! “Thanks sir.”
You’re welcome. What’s your name?
“Charlotte.” …and here’s my blog address. “What’s your name?”
What? You don’t believe me?
No. “I’m just smiling because that’s a nickname I went by when I was little. See how much we have in common. Both hungry, thirsty, and similar names.”
Un huh. You sure you don’t have a couple bucks?
Nope. “Here, you can have the rest of my water though.” …well, now I have to find some more water!
"Same to you."