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He was a big, baby-faced dude; the needle would make several round trips whenever he set foot on a scale. Homeless? Not sure. His clothes were clean and even in the sweltering summer months, one never detected a trace of b.o. when walking past the 19-year-old.

How do I come to know a guy's age and not his name? He shouted his date of birth through the box office window while trying to get into an R-rated movie. Over the course of a year, I spotted -- let's call him, Albert -- I spotted Albert at least a dozen times standing in front of Chicago's Lincoln Village 1-6. Apparently his job was rattling the change in a jumbo soft drink cup, begging patrons to contribute to his ticket fund.

Cinema is nourishing! People panhandle for food, why not movies? I applaud an enterprising spirit, and every time we'd meet, a buck would make its way from my pocket to the silo-sized collection cup.

One day, the familiar sound of clinking coins was muffled by some added green. On top of the change sat at least 8 dollar bills.

"Looks like you've collected enough for a ticket," I observed while tossing a few additional coins in the 82 oz goblet.

Other than telling the box office attendant his age and "thank you," it was the only word I ever heard him speak: "Concessions."

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa July 31, 2013 @ 10:56 a.m.

This wouldn't be the Scott Marks Story told from the standpoint of a fictional second party, would it?


Scott Marks July 31, 2013 @ 11 a.m.

How dare you! From the front, this guy looked like me from the back.


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