"Where are you from," he asked me as I neared? "Tennessee, I'm from Tennessee," I said with a smile. He stood up from the chair he was sitting in and asked, "Could I have some money? I have a problem. Could you buy me some alcohol, the liquor store is over there (pointing towards 35th Avenue in New York City)." His eyes were slightly discolored yellow.
I asked if he had a place to sleep tonight and he told me, "I have a home in New Jersey, but I have not been there in four years. My parents died." As he continued to talk I realized that alcohol was only one small part of his problems. He was all alone in the world and he was confused as to what was happening around him.
He started to raise his voice, but I could tell he was not mad. He yelled, "I know Al Gore - - Al Gore is from Tennessee." Passerby's started to look with a growing concern that something was wrong. However, he simply wanted me to hear him speak as the busy streets were filled with passing taxi's, people walking by and buses carrying passengers from one location to another. With a pat on the back I gave him a $2 bill.
While I don't usually hand out cash, I thought it would be neat to give a number of persons in NY a $2 bill and a hamburger. I know that sounds strange, but I figured they would remember me as the nice guy who stopped to talk... the one who gave them a $2 bill and a burger. wink emoticon I know it solves nothing, but hopefully it will serve as a simple reminder that someone cares about them. The reactions I got when I handed someone a $2 bill were so genuine. Two different people stated, "I have not seen one of these since I was a kid."
As I walked away he creamed, "Tell Al Gore I said hi." "I will tell him," I yelled back with people looking at me like I had lost my marbles. "Don't worry, I'll tell him."