I saw you on my way to work today, I believe at the corner of 24th Street and 6th Avenue. I don’t often read the signs since I’m afraid my slowing down to read might be misconstrued as an interest in donating. I was, however, able to catch some of your post in passing and let me tell you, sir, I am outraged:
“My wife doesn’t know I lost my job.”
Excuse me? Not only do you want my spare change, you think telling me that you have poor communication skills will encourage me to do so. Sir, why would I give anything to a man who perpetuates one of the biggest problems in human relations? Man and woman (man and man//woman and woman, for that matter) must learn to be honest with each other and share what is important. Call me crazy, but I believe being out of work and asking for money on the street is fairly important.
I’m not going to pay you to not talk to your wife.
Just talk to her.
Now, I cannot help but wonder to myself what kind of man would keep so much from his wife. It occurs to me that to answer that, I must overcome one of the greatest failings of the written word: lack of vocal tone and inflection. Perhaps you are the sarcastic sort. Were you, then, the gentleman who would be just too loud at office parties, telling past their prime jokes about how women make great assistants?
Maybe you’re afraid of your wife and we’re supposed to gather from your sign that there will be hell to pay if you don’t bring home all the bacon? I suppose yours could be a sad situation. You just don’t want to let her down?
Even if my being upset is of no consequence to you, imagine this: your wife, at home alone, decides to treat herself. She’s going to do a bit of shopping. 5th Avenue isn’t so far away from here, you know. There are so many stores there—something for everyone, you might say. J. Crew, H&M, Anthropologie (their sale rack can hold some great finds). Over on Broadway, there’s Ann Taylor, Papyrus, and Fishs Eddy, if she’s more of the home goods sort. A smidge further and you’re at Union Square, complete with Forever 21 and Burlington Coat Factory. I may not know your wife, but I’m willing to bet one of those places would be to her liking. So, she starts to make her way to the store she favors and in the distance sees a familiar form, low to the ground—it’s possible, you’re in a somewhat high-traffic area. All of the sudden, she’s upon you, heartbroken because not only is her family’s main source of income insecure, her husband hasn’t thought it pertinent to share that fact with her. There will be no shopping today—likely no shopping tomorrow, either. Not even at the Anthropologie sale rack.
Maybe your wife isn’t as clueless as I’ve been assuming. Maybe she wonders why money is a bit tighter than usual, why your paycheck now comes in quarters rather than direct deposit, why you smell like sidewalk.
I know what it’s like when a significant other has questions. Communication is hard. For example, my boyfriend wonders why I develop a cold after every blowjob. He doesn’t realize my case of the sniffles is really all those babies we just killed trying to make their way to a better place. You see, the trip from mouth to nasal cavity wasn’t what they had dreamed their life would be. But how do I tell him that?
I’m just kidding. He doesn’t wonder. He wondered. But I told him the truth. I communicated with him because I know, no matter how dark and difficult the truth is, it is best to let it out into the light. Take a tip from me; it will only make your life easier.
Sara Percy Roan
P.S. Upon further meditation, it seems somewhat implausible that your wife has no idea you’re out of a job. Does she actually know you’re unemployed? Are you in fact lying to me and my fellow morning commuters? Or, wait. DO YOU EVEN HAVE A WIFE?!
This is the lowest of the low, sir. I implore you to find another location to conduct business because I just cannot see how I can walk past you every day without going into a rage. I do not tolerate being lied to.
P. P. S. It is entirely possible that I misread your sign (after all, I read it while walking and I’m not known for my multi-tasking skills). If that is the case, please disregard the above.