by Theresa Elliott
I was shopping at PCC, one of Seattle’s organic natural food stores. Outside stood “The Real Change guy” at his usual post, so called by me because he sells a small newspaper by that name. We know nothing about each other, not even first names, but I have always had pleasant interactions with him.
Real Change was created for the homeless community as an alternate to panhandling. Men and women sell this paper to support themselves and I’ve always admired the ingenuity of this project. I approached The Real Change guy to buy a paper and nodded a greeting, when he said, “How’s retail?” I stopped for an instant trying to comprehend how he could have possibly known this detail of my life. As the wheels glitched in my head he laughed. He’d seen my photo on Facebook, and recognizing me decided to read my article that was with the photo “After 27 Years Teaching Yoga, I Got a Job at the Mall.”
“You got some interesting stuff going on there.”
I fumbled around trying to find two dollars in my bag to buy a paper, but nothing materialized. I apologized and said I’d have to catch him next time but he said, “I have The Square . . . ” So I gave The Real Change guy my debit card and he rang me up.