On Saturday, I was shopping at these little boutiques in Cherry Creek with my friend Dustin. At one point, he wanted to grab a coffee, so as he stood in line, I took the opportunity to use the restroom.
I walked into the bathroom and tripped over a duffel bag sitting in the doorway. “Who’s carrying a suitcase with them?” I wondered. When I started washing my hands, though, I realized the bag belonged to a homeless woman.
She was taking little Ziploc bags out of her duffel bag, emptying the contents into the sink, and scrubbing them clean with hand soap. I must say, she was very organized; all of her objects were divided into bags.
I said hello to her as I reached for some paper towel to dry my hands. “Can I get anything for you?” I asked her. “I’m going to Starbucks. Do you want a coffee or a snack or something?”
She looked up at me and smiled a big toothless grin. “What are you getting?” she asked.
“Um, probably just like a regular coffee or something.”
“You don’t even know what kind of coffee you like?” she laughed.
“Well, probably a dark kind. I like dark coffee.”
“That’s crazy!” she replied. “You’re crazy!”
(“I’m crazy?!” I wanted to ask. But I didn’t, of course.)
“Would you like me to get you something?” I asked.
“No no no no no,” she answered. “But do you want some vitamins?”
“Uhh… What? Vitamins?” I pondered. “No thank you.”
“They’re vitamin E. Verrrrrrry good for you.”
“Umm, no thanks. I’m ok.”
“Ok, I’ll get you some. Hang on.”
The woman started digging in her duffel bag and pulled out a Ziploc full of different medicine bottles. As she opened an unlabeled bottle of “vitamin E”, I said:
“No, I’m really ok. You can keep the vitamins. I don’t want any right now.”
“Ok ok ok ok,” she said, as she put the vitamins back in the bag.
“…All right, well, I’m going to head out now. Are you sure I can’t get you anything?” I asked.
“No, I’m just going to clean my things,” she answered. She picked up a wash cloth, ran it under the water and started mumbling to herself.
“Ok then. Have a good day. Take care of yourself,” I said, opening the door.
“Ok,” she said, smiling her toothless grin again, her blue eyes beaming from under her red knit hat. “Bye bye.”
I reunited with Dustin in the coffee shop and told him about my encounter in the bathroom. As I started describing what happened, he burst out laughing.
“You mean to tell me that a homeless lady didn’t want anything from you, but she offered you something instead?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I thought out loud. “I guess so!”
“Well, it’s a good thing I was out here waiting for you. Otherwise, you might be getting high in the bathroom with a homeless lady right now!”