I crossed to the other side of the road today. It had been one of those days, you know what I mean and as I walked out of work I ended up behind a drunk. The part of Vauxhall I'm in is right near the station, and a homeless centre that seems to house only drunk homeless people.
They normally spend their days in the park, or under the rail bridge, launching missiles at unwary American temps.
Well the one I was behind staggered from one side of the pavement to another, fell onto a car and then rolled onto the floor. I have NEVER seen anyone quite so drunk. I stopped and asked after him. My immediate impulse was to rush to his side and help him up. Then he mumbled something drunkenly at me. And all my sympathy washed away... I saw he was fine and I walked on, albeit with the angel on my left shoulder scolding me something rotten. Then the two most annoying people I had ever been stuck in a lift with (they spent the journey down admonishing some poor girl because she only had two lights on her bike not three) notified the homeless shelter that one of their charges was lying in the road.
Now would you have stopped to help him up? I feel bad that I didn't but what would I have done? Tried to help him up and have him drag me to the ground too? Was it my fault he was too drunk to be walking, and completely out of his mind?
I am going to have to work on my sympathy. 5 years ago I would have helped him, and admonished a world that allowed such people to go on being homeless and alchoholic. Now I'm just "Serves him damn right for drinking too much". Can I be so heartless to really wish him not to have the brief joy the drink brings him, when his life is obviously horrid?