Summoned for refresher training, I was into my own car and out and about the fair City one sunny morning. Still in my uniform, as required when still on duty, I happened to be passing the infamous coffee shop and had the urge to stop in for a cup of caffeinated goodness before the 3 hour protocol update lecture.

I parked my car in the first metered spot, fed it some coins and was walking to the corner when a man sleeping in a doorway peeked out from behind a number of dirty blankets to see who was passing.

I paused at the corner, empty mug in hand, and glanced back to the eyes in the doorway. He was visibly startled when he recognized my uniform and he began to gather his things.

“I don’t want to go to the shelter! I don’t want a hospital! Leave me alone! Leave me alone!” And he began to run down the street.

I was amazed. Every time I pull up in an ambulance, they never run. And now this man is fearful of my uniform, so much so he’ll abandon a clean, warm doorway to get away from me.

That cup of coffee was extra delicious.

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