Convergence

I’m walking in downtown LA at 7pm, making my way through Pershing Square. The light is soft. I see an elderly Asian man stopped, hunched over a couple of bags. I snap a picture. I wait a moment and snap another picture, He seems to be stooped over there for an unusually long time, time enough for me to walk closer and snap another frame. Finally he straightens and he motions to passersby. Some slow but don’t seem to understand what he wants. I approach him and ask. He stretches his hand out to me and shows me that in his palm is some change: a couple quarters, a nickel, dimes maybe a few pennies. He motions to a figure lying at the edge of the sidewalk, at the corner of the square, in a fetal position. “You want me to give him this money?” I ask. “Yes, yes, give him this money” he says. I take the change from the old man and take it to the man lying on the sidewalk. For some reason I’m anxious. I start to place the money next to the sleeping man and despite my efforts to be quiet and not wake him, he stirs. “what do you want?” he asks. “The man over there wants to give you this money,” I reply, “I’ll just put it here next to you”. “Okay,” he says. I turn to the Asian man and start to walk toward him, he smiles broadly. He picks up his bags and begins to shuffle off down Olive street and I stand at the corner waiting to walk up 5th. As I glance back at the figure, I see him in one sweep of his arm scattering the change across the sidewalk and into the street. I look toward the the old Asian man, he is too far away to hear or notice. I start toward him looking as the money rolls into the street but then I turn back to 5th and continue on my way.

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