I had a great interaction today. I was waiting at the bus stop when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hey rich guy, got a penny?” I’m immediately confused, because I’m waiting at a bus stop (rich people raking the bus?) in a poor neighborhood with a (albeit nice looking) $5 T-shirt and shorts. Just for a quick background on my finances, the move to LA destroyed Caroline and my finances. We are doing ok now, but we won’t actually be back to a place where we can save money for another two months (it would only be one month, but my buddy David got us a really sweet deal on a cruise to the Bahamas, and life is too short, you know?). At which time, I plan to budget for monthly charity contributions as I think anyone who is capable should do.
Anyway, I ask this guy, “Why do you say that?”
He responds with, “you’re white.”
The only reaction I have is to tilt my head sideways and say, “Really?” in a tone that is more surprise than anything else. I never actually thought someone would ever come up to me and accuse me of being rich because I’m white. It’s like something in a movie or an SNL skit.
His his tone changed and he said, “Sorry, I didn’t want to be racist or anything. I’m from Michigan and that just how things are there.” I said I understood, and we got to talking about how he is new to the city and looking for work as a barber. He was collecting cans to try to scrape by. I said I was new to the city too. He asked me what I was doing, and I said I was getting a masters in education. We made fast friends and bumped knuckles. He gave me God’s blessings, which I returned to him. We wished each other luck. Hopefully I run into him again. He seemed like a great guy.