The Homeless In Curfew

When the hour of curfew strikes, what happens to the homeless?

A man, maybe sixty or sixty-five years old, approached me on the street as I was hurrying back home. I had stopped to tie my shoes.

‘I do not want money, I do not want money.’ He said as if to reassure me. He had a blanket draped over his shoulders.

He apparently wanted me to take him somewhere and buy him food. I was caught off guard, in the midst of what seemed like a pressing schedule of Things I felt behind with but realised, shortly after, I had SA (Self-Assigned) and which had no TU (True Urgency) or OP (Outside Pressure).

‘I am hungry.’ The man shrugged. The smile he gave with this gesture was more of a grimace.

I had already instinctively set my course, walking away from him. I made a sympathetic gesture and said ‘sorry, I need to go’ as I walked off — slowly, as if to communicate reluctance. Reluctance, perhaps, would console the man. I had no cash on me — though he didn’t want money — , and it wasn’t clear where I would go to get him food, or how that would work. There was no obvious place I could go within a stone’s throw, at least. Those were the broad strokes of my thought process.