I Did an Okay Thing That Meant Absolutely Nothing

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and bought: A spinach-and-edamame salad, two packages of cold ginger noodles, some laundry detergent, and a jar of bread-and-butter pickle slices (great snack). A few blocks from the store, a woman was sitting on the ground with a baby. She was vaguely eastern European looking. I don’t know what she was wearing. She looked kind of dirty. She had piles of things next to her. She might have been holding a sign.

I usually do not stop for people on the street. I smile or shake my head, I try not to outright ignore them because I think that’s gross, but I have given myself permission not to stop. But this woman had a baby in her lap and my grocery bag was basically in her face, so I stopped.

I gave her a pack of noodles and smiled and walked away. It took two seconds. But as I turned, I saw that the baby wasn’t just hanging out in her lap, he was breastfeeding. He was breastfeeding on the ground in the sun on Sixth Avenue where it smelled like garbage and people stepped around him while his mom begged for food and money. I should have given her the salad, too, and the $10 in my pocket, but instead I ate the salad for lunch and spent that $10 on a beer which I drank in a garden with twinkle lights and a friend.

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