"Excuse me. Excuse me? What is your name."
I had pulled over when I saw the Whole Foods sign so I could empty some trash from my back seat and grab some lunch. With my arms full of old magazines and gum wrappers I said, "My name is Alexa."
"Oh, well Ms. Alexa, I'm trying to save up for a meal, do you have any - "
I cut him off. "Bummer. I don't have any cash on me. But let's go inside, I'll buy you something to eat."
"Oh, nah that's alright. I don't know what's all in there."
I laughed as I looked him in the eyes. "I'm pretty sure you're allowed inside, my man. Come in with me, I'll buy you lunch. What's your name?"
"People call me Junior."
I'd never talked to a homeless person before. Or asked them their name. Or bought them lunch. Or gave them money. Somewhere along the bottom row of the Philosophy section, I stopped acknowledging struggle. But this was different -there was no obligation in that moment. There was no moral right. In that moment, he and I were the same. We were both hungry, and one of us had money. The difference was that I had spent my day working for that money, and he had spent his day -
I didn't know how he had spent his day. I didn't know if he had forgotten his wallet, or if he ever even had a wallet. I didn't know anything about this man, except for his name.
"So, Junior - what are you in the mood for?"
"This is a fancy food store, right?"
"Mmhm." ..... I mean, yeah, Whole Foods does get pretty fancy with their prices.
"One time I had a salad that had a lot of fancy cheese on it. Sheep cheese, or somethin'. That stuff was good." He said that with the biggest smile on his face. "Something light for now, though. Something light." He grabbed a banana as we walked past the stand on the way to the lunch buffet.
I was looking at the meal deals trying to figure out which two sides I would get with my meat portion when I saw Junior walk up with a small package in his hand. I figured in my indecisive nature, it would be better for the both of us to check out and for me to come back.
We got to the check-out stand and I see "Goat Cheese" pop up on the screen in front of me.
$5.61 well spent.