“Where do you sleep at night?” I asked.

“On a stoop,” he responded.

“Someone’s porch?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Are you safe there?”

“Yes, I am safe. Thank you Lord,” he concluded.

Would you like to come over to my apartment, to take a shower. I am fixing dinner, and you can join me.”

He paused, shook his head, and then made direct eye contact with me for the first time, asking “Wow. Wow … Do you believe I need a shower?”

Realising I may have offended him, I laughed, saying, “You don’t smell bad, I just thought that–”

He cut me off, lowering his head again.

“The Lord said that we should be worry not for how we appear on the outside, but how we appear on the inside. Those who are clean, shiny, and washed may have minds that are thinking unclean thoughts. They think of steeling, of hurting, of sinful things, and yet, we believe they are clean.

I nodded.

The Rasta continued, “Thank you. Yes, thank you,” shaking his head, “But I choose to not come with you for I must remain true to the word of God. I must remain without these things, and clean on the inside.”