Giving Something Back

M – so what you doing there then?

H – nothing. Why? Why you asking?

M – dunno, it’s just that I see you sitting here whenever I pass, sat on a bit of cardboard asking people for small change and I just wondered why?

H – and what’s it got to do with you then! I see you pass with your head in a book and you never give me money you just say, politely mind, no thanks and you smile and you walk on. Your book boring you today?

M – just curious really. I mean, aren’t you bored sat there all day?

H – bored? Ha, that’s a laugh. Like boredom’s the worst thing that could happen to me. If I was bored then I could do that anywhere.

M – what then?

H – what what?

M – why sit there?

H – people give me money.

M – people give me money too, but I give them something back.

H – you mean you work.

M – yeah.

H – never takes you lot long to get around to that. “work for your money”, “do something useful”, “get a frickin’ job!”

M – well, yeah. So why don’t you?

H – get a job?

M – yeah.

H – and you don’t think I’ve tried that?

M – dunno. I guess that’s why I’m asking.

H – thought you was just curious.

M – that too. But curious about why you choose to be a scrounger rather than someone who works for a living like the rest of us saps.

H – you don’t want to know. Not really. You just want me out of sight so that you can get on with your smug little life without thinking about what happens inside the cracks. You just want to get back to reading your book without having to step over my legs on the way.

M – no, not really.

H – be honest.

M – okay, yeah; it crosses my mind that you could be doing something useful rather than sitting there.

H – like what?

M – listen, I got this idea. I’m a writer and I’d like to give you something to exchange for the money people give you.

H – like what?

M – your life.

H – whoa, Nelly! You one of those pervs who get off on them snuff movies? Nuh-uh, I ain’t your kiddie. Ain’t no-one going to kill me and make a movie out of it thank you very much. Move on! Go on, get outta here before I call the police!

M – you done?

H – huh?

M – no, I didn’t mean killing you, I meant that you could tell me your life story, I could write it up, print it and you could give copies away. For a small donation. Like, a quid.

H – and what do you get?

M – publishing rights. I want to do loads of these and gather them together and sell them for a profit.

H – profit from my life?

M – from your story. You ain’t going to get snuffed, remember?

H – how much you giving me?

M – nothing. Just paper with writing on it. A chance to tell your story. A way of giving something back for the money you get. Self respect.

H – that sounds like a whole lot of nothing.

M – nah, it’s a lot!

H – yeah, I know. I was making a joke. You said ‘nothing’ and then you listed a whole slew of things.

M – oh. I see. Haha.

H – okay.

M – okay?

H – yeah, I agree. Let me just check my social engagements to see when I can fit you in.

M – joke?

H – oh, most certainly. Tell you what, why don’t you drop by tomorrow, same time, same place. Give me chance to organise my thoughts.

M – and you’ll be here?

H – yeah, I’ll be right here on the street. Where else am in going to be?


4 thoughts on “Giving Something Back

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