Life in a free thinking family.
"Miss I just want ten dollars to get something to eat, that's all," he said lowering his voice in trying to de-escalate her anger.
"What, ten dollars of my money, so you can go out and buy booze with it...or cigarettes...or drugs?"
"I just want something to eat Miss. That's all, I swear."
Leslie could not help but smirk at his words. She had heard this so many times before; a feeble attempt at deception just to gain a few dollars. She had heard stories of beggars making an average of fifteen dollars an hour pan handling, while the working poor worked and made even less. Despite his weak pleas, she knew he had no intention of buying food with her money any more than she did in giving it to him.
"You're hungry you say huh? Then I'll cook you dinner," she said knowing full well that he had just gorged himself on the soup kitchen just down the street.
"Well that's just great Miss because I am starved," he said calling her bluff as he started walking towards her sport utility vehicle. For a second Leslie was speechless. She never considered her next move if he actually took her up on it. Now she considered her options and produced a twenty dollar bill.
"Here, go get something to eat. I don't care what you do with the change."
"I don't think so. I love the sound of a home cooked meal."
"I'm not taking you anywhere," she said firmly placing her hands on her hips to verify her steadfast resolve.
"So you're word is no good then? You know what though, you think you are all that, but you are no better than that useless boyfriend of yours that stood you up tonight. I mean that is what you are really mad at anyway isn't it; him, not me, but I'm an easy target so you started slamming my unfortunate situation?" Leslie looked at him with a look of utter animosity. It was the second time in two hours that a man had offended her and she was not thrilled about being portrayed as the bad person now.
"Fine, if you want dinner I'll cook one for you. Hell maybe then you can get cleaned up and you can get a job."
"That would be nice too," he said making sure he countered her every statement with one that was just the opposite.
Leslie made for a lousy chauffer as she drove up the darkened streets of Portland. She had placed an empty shopping bag underneath the seat so his soiled pants would not ruin her expensive leather upholstery, and made him hold his shoes in his lap as well. It was only a half hour drive to her Townhouse by the sea, a true requirement of being influential in the State of Maine.
She hardly spoke a word to him as they drove there however. Other than demanding he wear his seat belt and giving him a stern warning about ever remembering where she lived, she said very little. She was glad however that most of her neighbors had turned in for the night and would not see such a bum being escorted into her home.
"Take your shoes off," she demanded as they reached her front door. She ignored her own advice and stepped inside to snap on the dining room light and punch in the security code, leaving him to untie his muddy and greasy boots by the door.
She turned back to watch him after she was done. It was the first time she had really seen him in any kind of light. It certainly was not flattering. His socks were nearly as dirty as his boots with grass and dirt stains making his white socks look more of a grayish color than any resemblance to white. His hair was just as unkempt, having been uncut for several months and sprawling out in clumps that would not stay flat. Particles of food and dirt stuck to it, while his matching gray beard was just as shaggy, and equally unflattering.
Leslie did not bother to review much of the rest of him. His blue jeans matched his unclean socks, while his red and flannel shirt was ripped in two places. A pack of cigarettes bulged one of the breast pockets out as he stepped across the threshold and into her small kitchen.
"Well you are here.