I've had a real interesting day today. My craigslist post for a new massage therapist led me to a therapist who tried for 3 years to live on a typical therapist wage here of 20K per year and was fed up. She said most therapists have to really hustle for clients and still have to work 2 other jobs…i can relate to that!
Tonight, i passed a young man quietly begging for money on the corner. I went past him into a restaurant and watched the street for a while. He had a small pizza box open with some pennies in it on the ground in front of him. After about 10 minutes, he stood up for a while, then a gust came along and blew the box up and over, scattering the pennies. He looked listlessly at the overturned box for a moment, then began pushing at the pennies with his skater sneakers. Then, he just turned and left without picking up anything.
Within 2 minutes, every last penny had been snatched off the ground by passersby. It was strange to watch a beggar let the money go, while poor, non-beggars devoured it like treasure.
It just reminded me again of how difficult it is to survive in this town for most people.