I saw something that made me take pause twice. Once watching two little girls sell their Halloween candy, and when a guy I know bought it all.
But I’m ahead of my story.
I was working in Harlem in a not so affluent neighborhood a couple days after Halloween. It’s been unseasonably warm, so the streets were packed with people of all ages. In between shots, while we models milled outside basking in the sunshine, two little black girls came around selling candy in baggies tied with string.
Boy were they cute, I’d say eight and nine, in jeans and identical windbreakers, white barrettes holding back their plaited hair.
I didn’t pay much attention at first until a guy I was working with asked one of them if it was their Halloween candy. “Yes, the older one said, “but our moms needs money so we’re helpin.”
“Does your moms know you’re doing this?”
“No. We’re gonna surprise her.”
Now I’m thinking, crack addict or just a struggling single moms? I’m sorry, but you have to remember where we were and why these kids were on their own hawking their Halloween candy.
This guy I’ll call Phil, is someone I don’t like very much. He’s arrogant and rude, and I bristle anytime I have to work with him, but did he earn my respect that day after he bought all of their candy he distributed to the elderly sitting on nearby benches.
He then told these little girls to wait while he ran into a Duane Reade and bought them more candy. “This is for you,” he said, “don’t go selling it now…
“What were you for Halloween anyway?”
“I was sleeping beauty,” the older one said,”and she was Tupac.”
“Tupac? Are you a gangsta rapper?”
The little girl blushed before going into a rap song she wrote herself.
My heart, along with everyone else’s, stretched for a mile.
Phil took a 20 out of his wallet and gave it to her and said, “you can give this to your moms, but make sure you keep the candy…promise?”
“Promise,” they said in unison, before breaking open a bag of miniature Milky Ways.