One beggar in a station

Now is 2025. I remember one old woman who begged me money. About five years ago, 2020, I first met her leaning back on the wall beside a fare adjustment machine next to the ticket gate in a station after I had topped up my train card, Pasmo. My memory of clothes about the woman is a little bit fuzzy, though maybe she wore blown ragged pant and jacket, and it was outstanding that she didn't wear a mask in spite of it was in fashion of corona virus, also hauled stink to me even though I had wear a mask. Intuitively, I felt her vibe was somehow unusual.

She opened the mouth to speak that lacked some teeth, 'Oh pal, I want to go to the Ueno station, I just lost money, haven't you 400 yen?'

'Oh... I have,' I replied, opened my coin purse and groped for the money. I paused and once looked outside so as to confirm others might think the thing I did was strange. But others rarely care both me and her.

I doubted whether she habituated about begging money or not and was first bemused because I had friction about giving money to the strangers who might appear again to me or the money she begs might escalate more since then. Though it's also true I had experienced I was in trouble about money, however others ignored me that I was miserable, and I decided then when others were in trouble I should give money as much as possible if it's even a little.

And when I stretched my left hand from the coin purse to give her the 400 yen, she suggested her cash card proudly, 'Look, look, I have the identification!' In the first place, I didn't request the card and it's not with pictures like driver's license, but I guess she thought the card meant "I'm this country's man, not others," or "I deserve to make this card." I gruffly glanced at the card without meaning and at last gave her 400 yen.

'Thank you, pal,' said she.

'You're welcome,' I replied. On the country to my guess she would go to the station for Ueno, she didn't go in the direction of the platform at once, but she said, 'I will go to a public telephone to call my friend.' I replied, 'It's your call,' and relieved for she looked like gratified by getting money. Then she went in the other direction against the ticket gate and I went in the direction of the ticket gate because I needed to ride on the train, and on the way to the platform, I thought, she would not have intention from first of riding on the train for Ueno, she would just want money from someone and just beg, use something but I didn't care so much. 


Time passed, as I forgot almost of the old woman's vibe and face, I met her again at the same place. It was four years ago from now, 2021. She stood beside the fare adjustment machine as before. She, too, but this time the amount of money was less than before begged me, 'haven't you 300 yen, because I haven't money but I need to ride the train for ...' I noticed she did beg again and interrupted in the middle of her saying, 'I remember you, could you ride on the train for Ueno?' She once petrified as if noticed something and said, 'Ah, you're the man of that time. I could ride, thank you.' I wasn't sure she really rode train or used something else at that time.

It was hard to give her money again, yet this time was happened to overlap the day on my payday from my part-time job, and reluctantly said, 'It's okay.' She thanked me for the money. I bade her good bye. Then the horrible thing happened. When we parted, my heart was churned for giving her money twice and to relieve my feeling I wanted to eat something like a rice-ball or a bread and drink juice, and thus got to the convenient store near the station. As I entered the convenient store and while I selected a bread from breads corner, she entered also! On arriving the liquor’s corner in the convenient store, she took a cup of Sake, maybe costs 250 yen, and went to a register at once. In other words, my money used for the Sake, not for riding the train. And she might use money I gave the first time for Sake, also, maybe. Yes, it was life, and it might be free whatever she used the money I gave. That said, I was gutted about she did lie just in front of me. I firmly resolved never to give beggars money any afterwards, as well as I hoped I wouldn't meet any beggars in the future.


But against my hope, one year later, 2022, I met the woman again, but this time was different from the before. I found her around the same place in the same station, crouching on the ground painfully with the pungent smell like alcohol, deranged, loudly shouted something, like a fish out of water. When I found her I said to myself, 'Just my luck!' And her existence sent a shiver down my spine.  Every passenger that ran across from her skipped hurriedly so as not to relate with her, I thought a little I would need to lend my hand, but by the fact I was lied to, I could not help but forsake her like same as others. Even, deep down, I wanted to say 'serve you right,' ruthlessly.

I don't know, never, what she became at that time, whether she was taken by the police or somebody else lent her hand. I don't know, none of my business, I didn't want to relate with the old woman.


Now I'm about 30-year-old. I dropped out of the correspondence school, and I lost my part time job three months ago, my money was running out. I am poor. I'm walking feebly to seek a new job from a shabby apartment that I'm behind in my rent, it is afternoon. I'm so hungry, without no money, I'm at sea. By chance I come up with the figure of the old woman and I get to the station. Although I'm poor, and haven't money to ride on the train, by thinking the old woman, I don't feel like begging others because I got shock by I was lied to. I think not-begging is better. But I don't know who will help me and where to go. I only stare at the ground with gums, meaninglessly.