Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Before bed

I am on Messenger, finishing up a group project via the wonderful world of internet chat windows. How else could we be determining these sales figures from the comfort of our own homes and not some freezing study room in the bowels of our college?

It's been a long day. Up to do some work on the computer, then a lunch date with a lady from church, then going to the children's home for tutoring, story reading, hair pulling and the like. Then it was off to run errands before my Bible study group this evening. I got home at 11:00 pm to work on the aforementioned project, which is due tomorrow. We are finishing up now, at 12:43 am. I have also been interspersing this with non-school related conversations and trying frantically to read the 300+ page book we're doing for our book club. I made a date to go to the opera (rather, God hooked me up again!) and have given myself a fantastic crick in my neck.

Dinner was yakisoba, an addictive Chinese take-out dish that is probably killing my innards as we speak. But oh-so-yummy! The waiter was quite confused by me; I guess not too many people follow that kind of meal with a coffee. But I needed a pick-me-up or there was no getting through the rest of the night...

While I was in the little restaurant, a girl of about 14 walked up to my table. She was wearing hot pants, a tiny tank top and some variation of a sweatshirt tied around her shoulders. In her hand was a pastel, a fried meat pocket in which she was liberally squirting ketchup. "Wanna buy me a sugarcane juice?" (That's what people drink with the artery clogging pasteis.) I looked up from my book and thought about my dinner money. There wasn't much of it. Uh...nope. Sorry.

But the people at the next table paid for one for her, and I saw this girl sit there on the stool, carefully, slowly eating this snack that most people down in half a minute. We ended up leaving the restaurant at the same time, and I gave her a smile. "Spare some change?" Yes. That I can do...and I handed her the fifty cents that remained after I'd paid my bill. Usually, I don't give money to people on the street. But there was something about the deliberate way she enjoyed that little meal that touched me. Somehow, I can't see this girl taking that fifty cents to go out and buy drugs. Anyone who appreciates a snack with such leisurely gusto can't possibly be strung out on anything but life...

So we said, both of us, "Good night! God bless you...go with God..." and went out into the darkness.

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