As I was walking home from school yesterday evening, I thought I heard a homeless man ask for a spare.
I turned, and, taking out the headphones which were blasting an audiobook of "The Portrait of a Lady," asked, "A spare what?" I had just been to the laundromat for quarters, so I actually had change to give, but what if he wanted, I don't know, a spare tire? A spare cigarette? A spare bedroom?
He shook his head. "Not a spare, a spoon. Do you have a spoon?"
Who carries a spoon around with them? I thought to myself. "No, sorry, I don't," I said. "But I do have a fork."
He considered for a moment and said, "Okay, that will do. Can I have your fork?"
I pulled it out of my backpack, handed it to him, and turned to go.
"Wait!" he said. "This is a nice metal fork. I can't take this."
I told him it was no problem, but he insisted. "I live in a hospital, and if I come home with this they'll think I've stolen it."
Oh. So I stopped and waited while he ate the last few ice cream bites of his root beer float and told me all about how the neighborhood has really gone downhill. When he was done he thanked me nicely, handed back the fork, and ambled off to who-knows-where.
And that, friends, is why I like living in a city.