Time was not on my side. I was thirty minutes off schedule to get the things done that I needed to accomplish after work. Since it was one of those few and far between days where I didn’t have a meal prepped or time to cook, I went to the drive-through line at McDonald’s for the only thing there I eat, their fish fillet sandwich.
Minding my own business as I waited in the drive-through queue, I listened to a story on my Kindle. After giving my food order, I drove up a spot in the long line of cars waiting to pay for their food, when I noticed a sketchy looking man walking quickly towards my car after having stopped at another car to speak to that customer. I knew all my doors were locked so panic wasn’t my first response. Curiosity was. Not feeling any sort of immediate fear I looked at the man walking toward my window. He stopped at a respectable distance and proceeded to ask me if I had any money.
Having taken the time to look at the man, I could see he wasn’t starving and most likely wasn’t homeless, though he did look like it was a while since he had seen a shower or his clothing a washing machine. His smile was youthful, though his skin, teeth, and hair showed it had been months since he had taken proper care of himself, and that he was living a hard life with some sort of drug addiction.
“You got a couple dollars I could have,” he asked of me? I smiled back at him and turned toward the passenger seat where I knew I had a $20 bill and a $1 in my wallet. Pulling out the $1 bill, I rolled my window down just enough to get the bill through it, but no fingers, his or mine could get through.
The man thanked me profusely and began to walk away. Then as an afterthought, he came back and said, “You know, you’re real pretty. I like how you look, but I would get a relaxer and then put on some lip gloss, yeah that’s how I like my women.”
|“You know, you’re real pretty. I like how you look, but I would get a relaxer and then put on some lip gloss, yeah that’s how I like my women.”|
I was shocked. But all I could do is laugh and turn my head, thinking to myself, who does this crackhead think he is giving me fashion advice? Less than two minutes after he ushered these words to me, he was cursing at the customer a car ahead of me who had said something he felt was disparaging to him. He then whipped out his long limp penis and proceeded to pee on the ground next to the car of the people that offended him, as he cursed them out.
Three minutes, one man, caused enough of a disruption in the universe for a small group of people who just wanted to get their dinner.
This situation made me think about what kind of man he was before he allowed bad choices to put him in such a degrading position in his life.
- This man has no fear to speak his truth.
- This man knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like.
- This man is self-aware, knowing his power of persuasion to get what he wanted from whoever had what he needed. He was also very specific in the amount of money he wanted. Spare change wouldn’t do for him.
- This man also knew the most effective way in his arsenal to reactively show the offending person how he felt about his insult. It wasn’t dignified, but he let everyone within visual range of him know he had feelings and he would not be disrespected, no matter how annoyed we were with him approaching us for money.
- This man wasn’t afraid to tell a total stranger, ways she could improve her appearance. After all, he was only trying to help a sistah out.
Other than proclaiming my joy that I am not living his reality, I can say, I respected this man’s gumption. He spoke the truth as he saw it. His truth to me was, pull yourself together woman, you’re walking around with nappy hair and ashy lips. I’m still laughing as I write this. The humor I find in that whole situation, a day later, has not left me.
To the crackhead, I am writing my truth. “I am not getting a relaxer. I will pay attention though to my edges and be certain to use more product so that they stay smooth all day. Second, I never liked lip-gloss. All that shine makes a person look like they have either laced their lips with their own saliva or just finished eating greasy fried food and didn’t clean their mouth afterward. But I will pay more attention to reapplying lip balm or lip color so that my lips show interest, according to my likes, not yours.”
My next truth Mr. Crackhead is, “Thank you for reminding me the importance standing up for yourself. No matter how far down you fall off the latter of humanity, no one has the right to kick you when you’re down. Actually, the only thing a person has a right to do is to say no to your request. They don’t have a right to say mean or ugly things to you just because they are not the ones doing the begging. I won’t be showing off any of my private parts and pissing on the ground, but I will take time to stand up for myself in a dignified manner. Knowing how to say NO is very important.”
Lessons in life can be learned everywhere. Even a crackhead can teach you to look your best at all times. You really never know when someone important is checking you out.
Read the background story on my publishing my first novel in the article: Introducing – My First Novel The Man Next Door