Life Today

Your Charity Gives me Gas

A couple months ago, I picked up a friend from the airport for a girl’s weekend.

It was early.

We were meeting other friends for brunch but due to her early arrival, we both needed a Starbucks.


We pulled into the intersection driving my new fancy car and waited for the light to change. Next to us was a homeless man. My friend grabbed her wallet.

“Crap, I don’t have any cash,” She said,  “Usually I have granola bars in the car to give out. Do you have anything?”

“Really?” I said, “This is all just a ploy. Do you know how much these people make? He owns this block. This is a good block too.”

I stopped myself. “I sound like an asshole, don’t I?”

“Oh no.” she said, “We are just riding in your Mercedes to get $5 coffees before we go to brunch and you are criticizing the homeless man.”

I love my friend for this. And so I took this to heart and made a metal note to change.

The next week I pulled into Starbucks and saw a man with a sign that said, Coffee?

I thought of my friend and my attempt to less Assy.

So I ordered my coffee and ordered the man on the corner a coffee too.

“Milk and sugar?” The Barista asked

I thought about being on the streets, being hungry and needing calories. Of course milk and sugar!

“Yes please. And I’ll take a bacon gouda sandwich too.” Because bacon gouda sandwiches are delicious. And if I did not have a place to go, I would covet a bacon gouda sandwich.

I stopped at the man at the corner.

“Hey! I got you a coffee.” I pulled it out. “I wasn’t sure but I had them add milk.”

He looked at me and wrinkled his nose. “I can’t drink this. I’m lactose intolerant. Do you know what this will do to me?”

Oh. My. Stink….literally.

“Well then, I guess you can’t have this sandwich.”

“Does it have milk products?”



“It’s a cheese.”

“Oh no, hell no. Do you know what that will do to me?”

I handed him a dollar and wished him luck.

I also called my friend.

She laughed and said that’s what I get for being a part of Boulder county. She also told me not to give up.

At work I told my story and tried to pawn off a bacon gouda sandwich. A co-worker went into detail about what happens when a lactose intolerant person consumes milk.

“It’s not pretty,” she said, “And not having direct access to a bathroom? I can’t imagine. He made a good choice.”

“Whatever.” I said, “Do you want a bacon gouda sandwich?”

“No, I just ate.”

Today I pulled out of the grocery store. A man stood at the intersection. He held a sign that said, “Put some cheese on my cracker!”

I assumed he was NOT lactose intolerant because he spoke about cheese so enthusiastically. I thought of my friend and the granola bars in her minivan and I stopped.

“I don’t have any cash,” because I don’t, truly, I never do, “but would you like a yogurt?”

I held out a Noosa Peach Yogurt…..the very best yogurts of yogurts.

“I would love a yogurt,” he said, “Thank you. You have a fantastic day.”

I drove off reminding myself to buy granola bars. Because giving back does feel good. And because you know…..lactose.

Life Today

Embrace your people

My senior year in high school I dated a young man who was searching for his identity.

In the meantime he introduced me to great morose music. The Smiths, Morrissey, Kate Bush….Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel.

In times of uncertainty, I go back to this music

In this proud land we grew up strong
We were wanted all along
I was taught to fight taught to win
I never knew I could fail

This week I have been tasked with taking black and white pictures and posting them on Facebook. I took this today while waiting at a red light.

These are Samantha’s pink shoes. They sit on my dashboard of my car. I like the crack in the windshield along with the rain, along with the pink shoes. The dichotomy of life.

My girl who is no longer with me but with me everyday- perched next to the crack in the windshield.  

I watched in disbelief today and cried. I hate who we are sometimes.

I don’t know why we do what we do.

But I have met enough people along my path, heard enough stories in my life to know that there are bad people in this world.

And nothing will change that. Bad people will find a way to be bad.

And that is outstandingly shitty because most of us are not bad. Sure, we all have moments of assiness but 99.99% of us cannot fathom what the bad people do.

And this evil rocks our world

Because it should.

Where do we go from here?

Grab your people. Hold them tight. Look in the eyes, kiss on the lips. Tell your loves you love them.

All we have each other. Which sounds trite- it is not skin or bone but it is connection. At times it is pink mary janes on a dashboard.

It is who we are; our stories, our vulnerability, our ability to relate, embrace, love, laugh, connect.

It sounds like nothing when so much has been taken. But sometimes when all has been taken, it is so much.

And at times it is all we have.