“Something, anything. Please ma’am.”
The kid knows all the tricks, I think. Eyes unafraid of contact, face dirty but hands clean. No way a kid panhandler can learn it all that fast, someone must be teaching him. Probably the same gross, flea-covered man who’s hooking them on drugs.
“Nothing,” I say, and get on by. But the red palm stops me at the crosswalk.
He ambles up. “Really, I just want to eat.”
“Get away, you prick.”
Who knows what he mumbles, but he gets away. I’m satisfied when no one else on the crosswalk is fooled by his ploys.