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“Shame was an emotion he had abandoned years earlier. Addicts know no shame. You disgrace yourself so many times you become immune to it.” ― John Grisham, The Testament

It is 6am Sunday. The fire alarm in my building starts sounding. I knew there was no fire. Well, I didn’t know for sure but I assumed. The alarm has been malfunctioning and has been going off at times. So, by now, no one cares, which is scary because if there is really ever a fire no one is coming out alive.

Since the alarm was not stopping and we were already up my sister and I decided to go to the supermarket to look for the brown bread from the Cheesecake Factory. I love bread and one of the reasons I love going to the Cheesecake Factory is because of their brown bread served at the beginning of every meal.

Warm bread with butter it my version of paradise. I had heard from a friend that the Cheesecake Factory’s bread was now being sold in some supermarkets.  It seemed like the perfect time to go bread hunting.

To go exercise never came to mind 😦

We get there and as we are walking in I pass a man arranging a bag of cans to recycle. I catch up with my sister that was ahead of me and I mentioned that I felt bad for the man and wondered if he needed anything. She hadn’t noticed him and immediately felt bad. She said: go ask.

I turned around and went outside and approached him. He was on the younger side but it was hard to tell his age as life on the streets has a way of aging people beyond their years. I assumed that he was homeless and lived in a shelter because he had a cart with his belongings with him.

I approached him and said hi. He turned around looking a bit surprised. I asked how he was doing and he answered: good.

I said: I am going to do some shopping. Is there anything you need? Can I get you anything?

I thought he would say coffee, or something along those lines, but he replied with one word:


Beer? I asked, I am sure looking very surprised. He replied: Yes, I could use some beer now.

I said: It is only 6:30am, they aren’t selling beer yet.

I actually didn’t know if that was true or not, but I was not about to buy him alcohol.

He looked at his watch and agreed with me.

I asked him if I could get him something else and he said: No, that was all I wanted.

I wished him well and said good bye.

Later I checked and found out that grocery stores in NY state are not allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays from 3 am to 12 noon.

I appreciated his honesty. He didn’t try to get me to give him cash or get me to buy things he didn’t want. I pray he is able to fight his demons and come out victorious.

I found the brown bread and it was divine. Why must bread be public enemy number 1? I guess I do love bad boys after all… and by “boys” I mean food.

That man in the parking lot sorting cans is me. His weakness is alcohol, mine is carbs. Hard to say no. Hard to remember to say no.  Vicious cycle of blindly doing, feeling guilty, then doing it again to silence the guilt.

He has work to do and so do I.

“We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.”― Santosh Kalwar