An eyeless homeless man saddled beside me outside the Staten Island bodega.
"You got any spare change?" he wanted to know.
I digged through my pockets, fingering strands of lint and wrinkled rolling papers. Finally I shook my head in a stern 'no.'
The eyeless homeless man wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. "You like football?" he asked.
"Um, not really." I shrugged my shoulders with an aloof gesture of "oh well."
He wasn't buying what I was selling. "You like basketball?"
"I don't really like sports." The words fell out of my mouth with an emasculating thud. I couldn't shove them back inside.
"You like suckin' that cock, don't you?" he prodded.
I didn't know what to say. I stood there panic-stricken for a moment. I really needed to purchase some Chinese food.
"Can I buy you a Coke?" I proposed.
The eyeless homeless man paused. Clearly, he was thinking it over.
"Yeah, get me a 7-Up."
I went inside the Staten Island bodega, ordering a Styrofoam box of MSG-encrusted Chinese food. The problem? No 7-Ups.
At the crucial moment of indecisiveness, I decided to purchase a Sprite, instead. I mean, lemon-lime scented, right? It works on some level.
"They didn't have 7-Up, so I bought you a Sprite," I told him outside. I presented him with the green can like it was a prized possession.
The eyeless homeless man looked at me like I spat in his face. "I'm not drinkin' that shit," he said.