This will, perhaps, make more sense, if you have a rough knowledge of the parable of the Good Samaritan, yes?
"I wanted to be a firefighter," he said. Heavy fumes of a substance I'm far too privileged to recognize lunged at me from beneath his tattered coat, and I, ever the wise one, found my hand inching forward to delicately protect my dainty nose.
My other hand slipped into my pocket to pull out a single dollar bill. Hesitating, my hand hovered over the cracked cup in which he was collecting money. What would my dollar fund? Would it help fill his hollow belly, or would it fuel an addiction I was sure he had? I mulled over the possibilities, before letting the dollar flutter to the bowels of the cup. I dared not be the priest or the Levite; this dollar was his doctor bill payment; this dollar was his stay at the inn.
His thousand-year-old eyes flashed with something I could not interpret; he scanned me from head to toe. "We are both wearing coats, because it is cold."
He read my university jacket and smiled. "You know what? I had dreams. I wanted to be a firefighter."
"Oh, that's quite nice," I replied, gently tapping the cup away with my knuckle to insinuate I had made my offering. But how is one to respond to the broken dream of a homeless man? "I have dreams, too. I want to be a writer."
"We both have dreams."
"Oh," he said. And he left it at that.