But it is fun to get paid. And to spend time lying lazily around watching movies with one's girlfriend.
So I enjoyed my trip very much, as I'd enjoy any trip with Mariam, so long as all involved remain in good health.
As an added bonus, when I got home, the electricians had finished, so the furniture was in its rightful place! Except that my bed was still completely buried in crap. So that took a while to clean up. And I still have to unpack. No matter. Here's the important part of this entry:
I was waiting at a corner of a street somewhere in East L.A., because my father was coming to get me but didn't know the way. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been waiting very long. Anyway, this guy comes over and asks me very quietly, as if he were divulging some dread secret, if I have a dollar to spare so he can get a soda, or even $2.25 so he can get some food. Feeling generous, I give him $5.00 and he tells me he'll help me look for my father's car (a totally useless thing to do, but I guess he had to feel like he'd earned his $5.00 somehow). So he keeps pointing to cars and asking "is that him?" which disrupts my reading, and I tell him "You don't have to help me -- I'll be okay. You go get something to eat." to which he replies "No, I wanna spot him!"
Several minutes later, he tires of this, and wanders a little way off. Still within eyesight, though. Then another man comes up to me and asks if I have fifty cents he could "borrow." I tell him, truthfully, that I gave my last 5 to the other guy, and explain that the man only asked for 2.50, so should be able to split it with him. The new man looked at me in disbelief and said "FIVE DOLLARS!?," and then I pointed him to the first beggar.
As I expected, the first guy refused to share with the second, claiming shamelessly that he had "already split it with that guy." pointing to a random other man. This is obviously a lie because:
A) The man had been trying to locate my father's car this whole time, and couldn't have split it, and
B) If he had had change enough to split the 5 into two equal parts, that would mean that he had had $2.50 the whole time, and never needed anything from me in the first place.
It made me think of the parable of the debtor. I was utterly disgusted, and refused to even listen to anything else that the first man said.
Here's the fun part: What would you have done in each man's position? Be honest!