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April 19, 2016

The Man Needs a Dollar.

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Warning: A few f-bombs ahead.
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The man started shouting well before he could have even known I was there. It started out as unintelligible, but as I neared closer I was able to translate his shouts.

“I need a dollar motherfucker. I need to get on the bus. People’s lives depend on it!”

The mantra continued as I neared him, only getting louder as my footsteps got closer. I wasn’t sure if he was speaking to me, or to some other people I could neither see, nor hear. Still, his words were capturing my attention.

“I need a dollar motherfucker. I need to get on the bus. People’s lives depend on it!”

I reached into my pocket to find a dollar, but I had none. I fumbled around in the other one which was just as empty.

“I don’t have one, sir,” I said quietly.

“But don’t you understand! I need a dollar. People’s lives depend on it!”

I did understand him. Sometimes people’s live depend on getting on the bus. Sometimes they need a dollar to survive.

I started hearing my own voice, singing with his. I started feeling what he was feeling. I wanted to get on that bus, to help them, to make a difference in a world seemingly growing more indifferent by the hour. I wanted to feel as if my mission meant something to the world, that the stars twinkled, in part, to guide me to my destination.

“I know, brother. I wish I had a dollar to give you.”

“But…it’s a dollar; I need it. People’s lives depend on it,” he said in a way that echoed his desperation.

“I’m sorry man,” I said. “I want to help, I promise.”

He started to walk away, his mantra never missing a beat. I sighed, admiring a man who knew his purpose, who knew how to make a difference in his world. So strong was his purpose that I knew he had forgotten me long before I would forget him.

“I need a dollar motherfucker. I need to get on the bus. People’s lives depend on it!”

 

 

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Author: Tom Grasso

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr/Psyberartist

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