Whelp, I was duped.
My gullibility had me from the get-go.
Last night while in Seattle, I heard the most heart breaking tale. A man was digging in the trash looking for a cigarette when a few friends and I met him. He asked for orange juice and sweet tarts. After he received them, he talked about being a marine for nine years. He mentioned how he was kicked out for standing up for women who were being raped by his buddies, and then was shot because of it. "I have more mechanical parts than a semi-truck," he said, implying past surgeries.
And then he went on to tell us that his uncles tied him to a chair and forced him to watch them rape his mom. He spoke all about the intolerance that he has for injustice, and then started moaning. Why? Because he's diabetic and someone knocked away his last dose of insulin. Also, apparently his spine is all jacked. He proceeded to mentioned that he needed to get home to his family, he even showed me a map with numbers.
Long story short, I ate tacos with Z after coming home at midnight, and told him about the story. And I also told him how I was disappointed that nothing happened when we prayed for the man. Zach looked up from eating his gordita, described the man perfectly, and said "Of course nothing happened. He's not actually hurt in the ways he told you. That guy told me a different rendition of the same story a few weeks ago, only the numbers were different and he couldn't actually tell me details about his home town. You didn't give him any money did you?" I shrank. I always tell people that it's best to get food or buy the homeless a room or a bus pass or something other than giving them money. But last night I did the complete opposite of what I regularly advise. It was only two dollars, but STILL, that was my bus money back home!
Looking back, it makes complete sense. He switched from "serving nine years" to "serving thirteen years," and then told me he was an hour and a half away from his hometown. When, in reality, that town is three hours away, and includes a ferry ride (which was not mentioned).
If I see him again this week, it'll be just OJ and sweet tarts.