“After work on Friday, I gave some food to the homeless people who hang out by Civic Center Station. With one sandwich and a croissant, I felt bad when I realized I didn’t have enough to feed everyone. But a kind, older man told me that seeing me happy was enough to brighten his day.
As I ran down the stairs, he called after me. I stopped midway and braced myself for the insult I was sure he’d spit out. He’d changed his mind; I was inconsiderate, lazy, privileged – or worse, he’d call me something derogatory, sexual.
But instead he said, ‘Young lady, don’t let nobody take your joy.’”
Meredith Jaeger, a San Francisco writer in love with women’s fiction, 9/1/13