I walked out of the bar & grill with a full belly and a smile on my face. A
man came up to me and asked for 50 cents - said he was hungry. I
opened my wallet and gave him a dollar.
"Thanks, guy," he said. "God bless."
I didn't think that I required his blessing, and I certainly didn't think that I had it. Even if God is actually there, he certainly isn't going to bless my heathen ass. For Christ's sake, blasphemy is my favorite pastime. My latest endeavor is hanging on the cork board in my room. A mail-order church was kind enough to send me a picture of Jesus, expecting me to send it back with prayer requests and cash, so I burned a hole in Jesus' forehead and seared Betty Paige into his mind for the fun of it. Lord knows she's seared in mine.
I was still going to be polite, of course. He probably just says that because people expect him to, and it's a harmless thing, really.
"Yup," I said, "you're welcome." I didn't say God bless.
I walked on and looked back. He sat down on the bench and began looking at a small stack of take-out menus that he took from his back pocket. Well I guess he is hungry after all, I thought. He wasn't heading into the bar to get a dollar draft, not that I would have blamed him. I imagined myself in his position - having to humble oneself in front of complete strangers like that. Sitting down to a cold brew would be very tempting, I concluded.
I continued home, with the same smile on my face as before, only bigger.