I was walking down the street in the Tenderloin and stopped at the light on Mason and Eddy when I heard an "Oh God" and a smothered cry. Turned to my left and saw a sister with her arm in a cast, a sweater around her shoulders and a wasted blue slurpee on the asphalt in front of her.
She was way, way, down and damned near out. On hard times and looked like she'd been there a while. Clutching three dollars in her bad hand and with a cane hooked over her good one she looked up as if to say "Seriously? I'm down to my last three dollars and now this?" It was just too much. It was the last bit of hard luck in a really hard life. She looked down on the ground and started sobbing.
I asked her if she needed help. Right. Brilliant question. I asked if she wanted me to pick up her drink. It was in a bubble top and hadn't spilled too much. She just shook her head and kept crying. I told her to put her money in her pocket, as I could already envision a bad situation going to majorly fucked up in less time than it would take for her to drop another tear.
I helped her across the street and tried to calm her down. But empty words were the last thing she needed and I don't tend to carry cash. She shuffled away still muttering and crying and I kept on down the street. I was on my way to brunch.