Saturday, June 5, 2010

OCD, Taco Bell, and Compassion

One of my guilty pleasures is the 7-Layer Burrito at Taco Bell. About once a month I get a major craving, and yesterday was that day. The last time it happened, I stopped at Taco Bell, and there were two homeless guys sitting and eating in the parking lot, and I couldn't bring myself to go in. Yesterday, I think the same guys were there, but I went in anyway. The craving was strong! But once I went inside, there was another grubby homeless guy, probably in his 20s, right in front of me. I watched as he paid for 2 of the cheapest items on the menu with every last penny he had. I watched as he ate a packet of hot sauce plain while waiting for his order to be prepared. And as I watched these things, my only thought was, please don't let him touch anything that my food will touch.

It was literally not until more than 12 hours later that I thought, I could have paid for his food, or bought him something else. Or bought his friend in the parking lot some food. He was eating hot sauce for goodness sake! (He took about 25 packets with his tacos, a sad snack for later.) I also realized I have about 20 coupons at home for free chalupas that they hand out when my basketball team gets to 100 points. I've never used a single coupon, but I'm sure these guys would use them.

The whole thing made me so sad, once I could step back from my fear. Sad for these guys, who at age 25 must have some serious issues to be so down and out, and sad that my own issues blind me from my ability to help others. I know I'll do better next time.

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