Hail the panhandler

It’s been three days, and I can’t get this out of my mind…

On Saturday I went to a liquor outlet to get a case of wine. On my way out, one of the infamous Highveld storms broke loose, pouring down hail which bounced off my car with a sickening sound.

As I was moving along in the traffic, I caught a fleeting glimpse of a panhandler standing at a traffic intersection, straddling two lanes. He was dressed in what looked like patched-up jeans and a clearly ripped t-shirt, holding a small square of cardboard, using it to desperately shield himself from the savage blows being meted out by the hailstones.

It was such a pitiful sight, but I couldn’t do a thing being caught in moving traffic, trying to escape the storm like everyone else. Or… I could have but didn’t.

I remember still thinking about it nearly an hour later, as I was nearing my destination. I wished I could go back to see if he was alright.

And it’s still troubling me three days later. I hope he’s okay…