I needed a pee at Dundee. But there was a barrier…
On this day, Hamilton Accies had drawn away with Arbroath and now I was returning home from Angus, catching a bus at Dundee.
At the shop, I asked, “What change do I need for the toilet?”
Well, that didn’t seem right.
“3p? Are you sure about that?”
“Yes. Free pee. The barrier is broken.”
Back in Glasgow, my attention was drawn to a homeless person reading a book in his pavement pitch. We talked about his book and James told me his story, his sad history.
His relationship with his bipolar partner had broken down. She was going to leave the family home, taking the kids with her. James wouldn’t allow her to do that. He was now living on the streets, begging, hoping on a good day to get enough for a room in a cheap hotel, hoping on a bad day to get a bed in a hostel.
He expressed his appreciation for our chat. It’s a lonely life on the streets, he told me.
“Ye don’t always need to gie me money every time ye see me. Jist talk tae me.”
But I did give him money. I gave him the change in my pocket.
“Is that all you gave him?” my wife queried, puncturing my smugness. “You didn’t go into your wallet? Give him some proper money? Not much of a Good Samaritan really, are you?”
She was right. I was only a fairly good Samaritan. Not good enough.