It was late Saturday afternoon when I went to Cavendish to get movie tickets for that night’s movie. As I walked around the corner at McDonald’s the beggar with no legs was sitting in his wheelchair begging.

He had a beautiful face and toothless smile…
I had often seen him sitting in his wheelchair at that corner and had occasionally given him some change.

That day, however, I wondered what I could give to this man that would make him really happy. Money was of little use.

So the idea came to me: I went home and rolled a joint.

I traveled back to Cavendish and walked up next to him. I turned my right hand and opened it.


He looked at me in disbelief. He realized what it was, but could not get his mind to resolve this incongruous connection: a "Respectable looking gentleman" passing to him a rolled joint.

He quickly recovered and showed a conspiratorial recognition that there was little difference between him and me. He took the joint gingerly.

He could not believe his luck. He turned his wheelchair and spun off with his treasure.

Sharon and I came back later to see the movie and there was the beggar. His face erupted in a toothless grin and he almost fell out of his wheelchair to welcome me.

Sharon wondered why this beggar was so happy to see me. I told her the story and she was angry that I could do such a thing.

"I have given this poor man a few hours of pleasure," I said. "It’s taken him out of his wheelchair world, and let him fly again, free for just a short while."

We carried on to the movie each in our own world.

15th January, 2007, South Africa


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