An Irritating Man

September 19, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

I never met anyone as irritating as the man who used to sit on the steps next to my apartment building in SoHo. Tall, heavyset, often in shorts, with sneakers and a cane, his sole purpose in life seemed to be to annoy the people in my neighborhood, none of whom could stand the sight of him.

He used to ask passersby for money and when they didn’t give him any, he insulted them. In addition, he used to make a bothersome guttural sound, which he repeated every few minutes for long stretches of time.

The fact that it was practically impossible to get rid of him (the police claimed that he wasn’t doing anything illegal) made the situation even more annoying. Some days he received handouts, not out of kindness toward him, but rather out of fear, since he used to brandish his cane as a threatening weapon.

One day, however, as I was coming back home I saw a shabbily dressed man asking him for money. As I was entering my building I saw this irritating man handing him a $5 bill, saying, “Sorry, brother, that’s all I have for you today. You know, it has been a rough day for me, too …”

Dr. César Chelala is a winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.