[Author’s note: I’ve seen the man panhandle about 5 times in Port Authority. He’s always going to a different place. Once it was Toms River, I can’t remember the other places. That’s how I know he’s faux. How can those other scenes be conveyed here? A series of monologues? ]

Scene: Summer. Port Authority Bus Terminal around 9:30 pm. on a weekday night. A line of about 15 people are waiting for a bus at Gate 208.

A man comes up the stairs. He is 5′ 8′, stocky with crew cutty hair. He is wearing unmemorable shorts and an unmemorable shirt.

He starts speaking in an insistent tone with touches of anger and whining.

I hate to bother you but I’m going to Roanoke, Virginia. It’s an 8 1/2 hour bus ride.  I need $21.00 for a ticket; I have 8.60. The Greyhound bus people have been giving me a hard time all day. They won’t help me out. I’ve been asking people like you for help; that’s how I got this money. There’s a 10:20 bus I can get. It’s a long ride. Please give me some money and help me out.  I don’t have anyone else to help me

Women with long black hair who has constantly been asking when bus is coming gives man handful of change.

This woman just gave me about a dollar. Now I have 9.60. I need $21.00. I understand you want to blow me off. People have been blowing me off all day. But I need money for my bus ticket. I need you to help me out. I need to get home

Silence.  Man walks up and down the line staring at people.  People look at smart phones or ceiling or floor.

I need the money for a bus ticket to Roanoke, Virginia. The bus leaves at 10:20. I have $10.00. I need $21.00.  I need the rest of the money.  Help me out so I can go home.

Silence-Man walks down staircase, no parting words

Woman turns to young  Asian woman and father in front of her on line. You know this is about the fifth time I’ve seen him.

Young Woman: I’ve seen him in Penn Station  a few times.

Woman: He’s always going to a different place.

Man: He  looks like a regular young man not like someone who really  needs money.

[Scene trails off in  boring discussion of  how some people really need help, some people make living begging ….]

Imaginary Scene:

Man:

I hate to bother you but I’m going to Roanoke, Virginia. It’s an 8 1/2 hour bus ride.  I need $21.00 for a ticket; I have 8.60. The Greyhound bus people have been giving me a hard time all day. They won’t help me out. I’ve been asking people like you for help; that’s how I got this money. There’s a 10:20 bus I can get. It’s a long ride. Please give me some money and help me out.  I don’t have anyone else to help me

Woman on line says: This is the fifth time I’ve seen you. You’re always in here asking for $$ for a bus ticket for someplace,different place each time with the same annoying monologue. You’re not really going to use the $ for a bus ticket. So, what’s really going on?

What would happen next?

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