Open Letter to Tonight's Street Encounter

Dear Mr Guy-in-the-street,

Thank you for approaching me tonight. I'm sorry that I couldn't help your girlfriend, but I really didn't have any money on me. Your refusal to take my day-pass tram ticket that I offered was fair enough I suppose, some people are too proud and might consider that charity, though I think you'd find more success getting help on your quest at the main train station than on a side street off Brunswick.

I feel really bad for not being able to help in a more fiscal manner. I empathise that your girlfriend having lost her wallet just when she has to go to Ballarat. I really hope her father gets better soon. I'm also pretty impressed at the change in her appearance since she approached me last Tuesday for money for the same trip - she was tall and blonde then but seems to have become smaller and brunette in the past week - that's girls these days for you - always changing their looks. Her mum was sick then too wasn't she? Such bad luck to hit one family so badly.

You took my inability to help in your stride, and I appreciate that. It is more than I can say for a man who had talked to me not five minutes before our conversation, who claimed I was "very Madonna" because I wasn't carrying change; I'm not enirely sure what he meant by that. Or the gentleman a few days ago who called me a "mole" for not giving him a $2 coin. Moles don't have pockets and therefore, never carry change so his description of me was very assute.

Ballarat must be a lovely place because it seems like every second person I speak to in the street these days wants to go there. It's such a shame that so many people who need to go there have lost their wallets right at the time that their families need them back home in Ballarat - crazy coincidence. I also think that someone needs to test the water or investigate the numbger of powerlines because there seems to be a lot of sudden illness in the area as well. But that's life for you: it never rains but it pours.

I wish you well in your search for the sum total of your trip and hope you reach your goal with speed. I'm not sure that you realise that your encounter with me lasts a lot longer than you think. Sometimes, after being approached in the street and not being in a position to help, makes me dwell so long on the fact that the lingering thoughts can turn a mediocre day into a bad one. I realise that's kind of selfish for me because it's not like *my* girlfriend needs a ticket to Ballarat that I can't provide without asking strangers in the street - I'm quite a lonesome, singular person without any ties to Ballarat whatsoever, so really I suppose, I don't understand.

Although I hate to dwell, it is a shame you didn't take the tram ticket I offered. You could have traveled to the main terminal and probably had more success with the fine people at Southern Cross Station in getting your girlfriend safely home to the bossom of her sickly family in Ballarat.

God speed, as he must. Best regards,