It was brick cold last night when I got off the subway, walked down the stairs to Broadway and then headed up the block to the bus stop. I kept my head down, my nose tucked into my scarf, as the wind cut through me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman with a cup in her hand standing outside of Dunkin Donuts.
Actually, I didn’t register her at all, just the outline of her form as I heard her say, “Can you spare a dollar?”
Walking quickly next to me, an older woman bundled in a winter coat, laughed and said, “The nerve, asking for a dollar.”
I look at her and nodded, not sure I liked where she was going.
But she continued, “I remember when they used to say, ‘Can you spare some change?’ Now, it’s so specific.”
I said, “Spare a dollar thirty-five and a cup of coffee.”
She laughed and I thought about this classic bit: