October 11, 2001


A man in a wheelchair came to our door acting as if he knew J, then me. He said his name was Franklin and that he lived two streets away with his brother, whose name was also Franklin. He said that he’d been shot and robbed on August 14th and was recently let out of the hospital. He needed money, he said, for diapers, because he was incontinent. Then he pulled up his shirt to expose the top of one of the diapers.

I refused him. J gave him a dollar.

I believed he was lying about everything except being incontinent and having a brother with the same name.

There was a particularly awkward moment when J went to get the dollar and I was left to talk with the man after having turned him down. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you,” I said.