True Story About Five Dollars.

Just put up a sign at the coffee shop that says, “This is my last week! I do Shakespeare with inner-city kids over the summer and in the fall I’m having a baby!”

So this guy- about 18 or 19 with dark hair, a black t-shirt and a baseball cap- comes in with a guitar slung across his back. He’s got words scarred across the inside of his arm, but I can’t read what they say. He reads the sign and says, “Oh cool! Is this you?”

“Yeah!” I say. “What can I get for you.”

“What’s the cheapest thing on your menu?”

Great, I think. Here we go again.

“A small coffee. It’s 1.66,” I say.

His face falls. “O…kay. How about I just do this?” And he pulls his wallet out and counts out five ones, laying them on the counter.

“So what can I get?” I ask.

“Oh no. That’s for you. I love Shakespeare. It’s my favorite. And I’m always up to help people with kids.”

I look at him, dumbfounded.

“Are you sure I can’t get you anything?”

He shakes his head. “Nah… My favorite quote is, ‘palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss. Give me my sin again.”

“Romeo and Juliet,” I say.

He smiles. “Yeah. And this other one, about ‘the course of true love never did run smooth…'”

“Oh yeah!” I say. “What’s that from?”

“I dunno,” he says. “Macbeth, maybe?”

“Well you should come see our show,” I say. “We’re doing Much Ado About Nothing.” I tell him the time and the date.

He says, “How much are tickets?”

“Last year they were eight dollars,” I say.

He makes a face and then pats his guitar. “I can probably get that how I get my other money- playing in the Strip District.”

“Cool,” I say, feeling totally helpless. He’s a busker who just gave me five dollars that he made playing a guitar on the street. “Then I’ll see you there?”

“If I’m not in jail,” he says, and walks out the door.

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5 thoughts on “True Story About Five Dollars.

  1. The EssWhyDee Blog says:

    how peculiar!, that’s kind of him… I also have had a weird experience with a £5 note(not dollar), the story is on my blog… i think 5 is a strange number! check it out, its esswhydeeblog.wordpress.com

  2. Writerlious says:

    This is both wildly inspiring and kind of sad. I am always heartened to see people without much doing generous things and reaching out to help others, even though they themselves are disadvantaged. It gives me faith in the human spirit.

    I want to hear about it if he comes to your show!

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