The first thing I noticed was his feet. Although it was raining and cold, he was wearing flip flops. I saw him as I left the store. He was right outside the door, putting a few groceries into his backpack. I said hi, then something about how his feet must be cold. “Not really,” he said. “Not yet.” He told me he’d been soaking in the hot tub at the McMenamin’s right up the street. “How are your feet?” he asked me. I glanced down, then told him my feet were fine, really warm. “Striped socks are hard to come by,” he observed.

“What’s your name?” he asked, super friendly. He said his name was Tom. I told him I had something to say and that he might find it strange. “Oh, I’m used to it,” he said. “Things always seem to happen to me.”

I told him I thought that was pretty interesting and handed him the $100 bill. “Wow. Why?” he asked. “Why me?” I told him a little about what I’ve been doing. He lost his job two years ago and his unemployment is just running out; he said he could definitely use the money but he didn’t understand. “This is kinda crazy,” he kept saying. “Sometimes I feel like I’m too lucky,” he said. “I feel guilty, almost.”

Tom. (Check out the lenses on the sunglasses!)

I was surprised to hear this, since he’s out of work and facing financial uncertainty. He had some tough luck on the job and is dealing with health problems as a result. “I really can hardly sleep at all,” he told me. “That’s why I go to the hot tub. They let you stay two hours. It helps me relax.”

“Thank you,” he said. “I’m just kind of blown away, like, this is really crazy!” He pressed me again to explain what I was doing and why, and seemed to think I hadn’t made a great choice. “I’m not really a good cause,” he said. “I mean, you could have done better.”

We talked for a long time. There was a big story there, and I only got a piece of it. Military school, drug rehab, a mother with five husbands, a father with three wives…and he plays in a band.”What are you doing Friday night?” he asked me. His band is playing at Saratoga. There will be Jello shots.

He was very serious about somehow doing the gift justice and said he was going to save the money.

We hugged goodbye and I headed to my car. He waved at me from across the parking lot, shouting, “Friday night! Bring your lady friends!”


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9 Responses to A Good Cause

  1. Amy says:

    Love it as should go hear the band! And have a jello shot for me 🙂

  2. Lainie says:

    Love the glasses! I had to click on it to see it clearly and it made me SMILE!

    I think you should go hear the band too 😉

  3. DJan says:

    Oh, I LOVE those sunglasses. He’s an interesting guy, and yeah, I think ou should go hear the band…

  4. Tom Potts says:

    Hey Jill, Still thik’n bout maybe gett’n out to the
    show @ Saratoga?You know, of course I’d guest list you + 1.Sounds as though your pals think so?
    N-the-script?You’d spoken first of your lady-
    freinds attendace first.As my computer is slowly chokingly reminding of me what to do w/ my new gift of fund.I thank you again.You do get alot of hugs.
    I do have other good news?Cheers.
    Hope this does not effect your outrance to show.
    Sorry,i mention the free jell-o shot-trips to the
    van, before the laser-lights-n-fun.It’s a good combo!This is my first bloggy von bloggism,Arggg.
    Thats me,T.$.

    • Jill Ginsberg says:

      Hey Tom! Wow, I didn’t think my cataracts were that bad but when I watched the video there were these flashing lights everywhere. Have fun, my friend! Jill

  5. I just love reading your adventures and how you touch peoples’ lives. Bless you and what you are doing! If I ever hit the lotto I am going to follow in your footsteps.

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