Pinks and oranges highlighted the rooftop of the strip mall. The sun was beginning to descend on this part of the first world. I, too, was clothed in warm colors, a fun dress to show off to my friends. Nearly late for our regular dinner date, I grabbed a few precious minutes to shop. My flip flops flapped with purpose down the breezeway to Pier 1.
Three boys hovered by the entrance, one nearly a man, the others just kids. They had a telling look of loitering about them. I slowed to a stop and then braced for their approach, my shoes echoing a final clip clop. Had I removed my dark glasses they would have read my haste, but I tried to stand open-minded.
"Would you like to donate to such and such club, a group serving underprivileged youth?"
"What are you accepting?" I asked with choice words. Eyeing the canned food at my feet, I considered the market down the way.
Given no time to question, I felt forced to receive a chubby hand and a bright smile.
"Hi, my name's Curt. Nice to meet you ma'am. Are you able to help at this time?"
"Why no, no I am not. I'm sorry. Not right now. I have no cash on me."
"There's an ATM over there." He pointed. I stared.
Flip, clop. "No. Thank you, young man."
A quick turn of the store and I quickly learned they did not have what I hoped to find. But, I lingered to keep a watchful glance through stacks of wine racks and over seas of glasses and mugs. The boys were still there and I didn't dare want to deal with them again.
I managed to slip by while another woman in the wings scavenged in her bag to feed them. Fleeing the scene, I overheard the staff giving notes to his flock. "Be sure to say underprivileged. You get more attention that way. Did you notice how the lady stopped when I did?"
No doubt there was a need, this great nation is full of them. And, it is a necessity to care for our own. We all have light to shine and time or talent or treasure. But, right then I decided buying a goat for a girl across the third world feels a hell of a lot better than this.
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