I’ve just left Scissorhandz, the hair salon where Karen Beck performs her voodoo on me every six weeks. I had to park a block away. It’s windy, which makes me a bit irritable.
I’m at an age where I am required to spend hundreds of dollars a year on my hair and facials in order to not frighten small children. This, too, makes me irritable. Earlier, I mailed hundreds of dollars to the IRS, which makes me a lot irritable.
A 20-something man is walking towards me. I size him up – dirty clothes, a mop of disheveled hair, a guitar strapped on his back. The kind of guy I would have lusted after in the late sixties. But now, in the new millennium, he can only be one thing – a homeless guy who is going to ask for money.
I have several steps to prepare my response to his, “Do you have any change?”
Instead of my usual smile and, “No,” this time I’ll say, “No! I work for a living. Maybe if you worked for a living, you wouldn’t have to ask strangers for money.”
We come face to face and I brazenly make eye contact.
He opens his mouth.
Bring it on, buddy. I’m so ready for you.
He smiles brightly. “Pretty in purple!”
It takes me several seconds to realize I’m wearing a purple sweater, and a few seconds more to feel the glow of someone calling me pretty.
I call after him, “Thank you!”