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you’re beautiful!!

published: 2011-10-07

Two drug addicts – a man and a woman, mid forties – hollered at me from across the street.
“Hey you!” said the woman. She was wearing a black cap, black bomber jacket, black jeans and various gold necklaces. Skinny legs, bright red lipstick, a super-sized beer.
How did I know they were drug addicts? Quite simple, they walked the way drug addicts walk (brisky and restless), they talked the way drug addicts talk (raspy and streetwise). And so here’s what I love about this type of drug addict: there’s no pretense. They are exactly what you expect them to be. Just your ordinary addicts on their way to the next hit. Consider the amount of substance abuse in your circle of friends which remains hidden behind social etiquette.
“You are SO beautiful!” yelled the female drug addict.
I stopped and considered how beautiful I objectively speaking was that moment.
“Well thank you!” I said, “thank you very much.”
Because I had stopped, she crossed the street and rushed over to me. I put my plastic bag down on the floor knowing what was going to happen next: she was going to ask me for money. She stuck her hand into her inside pocket. Perhaps she was even going to mug me. Which was fine by me.
“I need 7 euros,” she said and mumbled something about owing someone. I had already opened my wallet. As she held our her hand, I turned my wallet upside down. Whatever coins were in it all fell into her hand. Approximately 7 euros.
“That’s all I have,” I said. She walked away, briskly (the man had already turned a corner) saying nothing in particular. She wasn’t overtly grateful or anything, she simply accepted it as it was. Her next high was within reach, made possible by me.
As she walked away I hollered to her, “you’re beautiful too!”
She turned around, walked backwards while confidently saying, “thank you! But you’re even more beautiful than I am!”
She had meant it. And had I?

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