“I Can’t Read This!”

The man bore an uncanny resemblance to Michael Jackson. His speech was staccato and robotic. Clearly scripted.

He wanted me to believe that I should buy magazines from him because

1. He had a rough life
2. He had an eleven year old daughter
3. He was from New York City
4. He was doing God’s work
5. By selling magazines he was helping teens see the world
6. I live in a nice house in a nice place, he would like to live there.

I listened when I wanted to send him on his way. This was not my first magazine appeal. Sometimes it has been children’s books for the needy.

If you don’t need what they are peddling they press you to donate.

One pair of salesmen promised to come back and wash my windows shortly after they (they–two strapping college dudes) said hopefully I wouldn’t kidnap them.

One (my hero) took a donation from me to hand out copies of poetry books.

And he did. He handed them out when he could have just dumped them.

But this fella yesterday did not take my book. I gave him snacks, someone else’s poetry book, some rocking ties and a copy of Just.

He asked what it was about and when I told him he returned it to me. Said it was too sad and he couldn’t bear to read it.

I told him I understood.

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