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When I was a young man, I worked for a time in a garage in Oakland, sleeping in my car, halfway down the block. I was celibate, searching for my life, walking like God in obedience to my God, waiting for my time.
On one of my days off I was walking, just over into Berkeley, and was stopped by a man my age, who was waiting on the sidewalk with a girl.
"Ya got any spare change, man?" He asked me.
I noticed the expensive, tooled-leather boots he was wearing. "No, man," I said, "but I'll give you three dollars for the boots."
He immediately sat down on the sidewalk and began pulling off his boots. The girl started to protest, but didn't know what to say, and turned to him, mutely begging him not to. He ignored her. As he rose from the sidewalk, extending the boots in one hand, I gave him the money.
"Here's the three bucks, you can keep the boots," I said.