While waiting, he hung out at a round building in a small park in the heart of the city's downtown. Homeless men were there too, to escape the rain. The four in the picture passed the time playing poker.
All the men there were black, except the Loser and one other man, who had clearly seen hard times.
|Four men play poker outside on a rainy day.|
The highlight of the Loser's wait was when a very pretty Asian girl climbed six steps to reach him. She was clutching bags.
"Can you help me out?" she said.
That's a bum's opening line.
"Yeah ... ?" the Loser said, warily.
"Can you hold onto this bag for a minute?"
The bag she asked the Loser to hold was made of paper and had gotten wet. Office supplies inside were in danger of falling out. The other bag the girl held was plastic. It too held office supplies. The girl was slight, her arms were toned but thin. After a minute or so of combining the contents into the plastic bags, she thanked the Loser and, umbrella up, went on her way.
Later, the Loser realized that this girl was so far from being a bum that she didn't know how to ask for favors without alerting people to her possible bumhood. She should have simply said, "Could you hold this bag for a minute?"