Monday, April 20, 2009

Georgetown Scarf

This is the scarf I made for Rhett this winter. I got the pattern from. . . a homeless man on a bus. That story is part of the reason I love my neighborhood; people may not be well-off, but they're kind and decent people. (We'll ignore for now the pressing issue of street violence.)

I had been in DC for New Year's Eve, but was heading back to NY for the rest of my break in the early days of January. I was taking a Chinatown bus, but had gotten to Chinatown - mercifully very early - only to realize that I'd forgotten my ticket! I got back on the Metro bus to head home and pick it up. Sitting near the back of the bus, I noticed that the man across the aisle was wearing a crocheted scarf, in the style pictured above, in blue and gray Georgetown colors. He was talking to his friend, but they noticed me staring (I hadn't realized how intently I'd been looking at him) and said hello. I said hello, apologized for staring, and said I was just admiring his scarf and trying to figure out how I could make one like it. He took it off and tossed it across the aisle to me. I looked at the stitches for a couple minutes to figure out how it had been made (I think it was a double crochet - at least that's what I ended up using when I tried to replicate it), and when I tried to give it back, he told me I could keep it.

Of course, I wasn't about to take his scarf, so I insisted on giving it back, and said that since I wanted to make one like it as a gift for my boyfriend, it would be better if I made it myself than kept his. I got off at my stop, ran back to my house, grabbed my ticket, and went back to the bus stop to wait for the bus in the other direction.

While I'm waiting for my bus back to Chinatown, I see and his friend walking down the street again. He says hello, and take his scarf off to try to give it to me again. I keep protesting, and he eventually puts it back on.

Then he asks me for money "to help him buy a sandwich."

Usually, I say no to people asking for change. If I don't say no, the most I do is give them change. But this was clearly a nice guy, who had twice tried to give me his own scarf. He had tried to give something to me before he had ever asked me to give something to him. And we had a relationship by that point (I still wish I had asked his name). So I gave him $5, and never regretted it for a moment, never felt like I'd been had. I was only glad I could help him, and grateful to have gotten a pattern I really liked for a scarf that Rhett was (eventually, once I finally bought the yarn and actually made it) really excited for.

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