I had the nicest thing happen to me on an otherwise pretty awful day today. I’m so stressed out and scared about my dad; it now turns out now that he’s basically facing a potential eviction on no grounds whatsoever as far as I can tell, and all the people involved are being really irrational and litigious and just generally unfair and unpleasant, and I was feeling so defeated after trying to talk some sense into them and smooth things over. I had just gone to the deli across from his building to get some juice, and I wound up knocking down and breaking a couple glass bottles (right over my own feet too, it really hurt!) and I just burst into tears when that happened. The poor janitor kept telling me not to worry, and I couldn’t really explain that I wasn’t ACTUALLY that crazy-sensitive and that it was just the last straw in a bad day, and I felt awful for causing this mess for him to clean up, and I was just one of those cartoon characters with a little thunder cloud hovering over me.
As I was walking back to my car, I stopped on a street corner to wait at the crosswalk, in the pouring rain, and my hood was sort of half-heartedly pulled over my head, and this kid who looked to be about fifteen sidled over and covered me with his umbrella. I still can’t get over how touching that gesture was. I looked at him sideways and smiled and said thanks, and then it just hit me and I started to sniffle and then full-on cry, and all I managed to say was “Look, you made me cry” while sort of giggling. I explained how he’d caught me on a pretty rough day, and we started swapping stories and chatting a bit, and he walked me to my car which was right by his bus stop – now that’s fate if I’ve ever heard of it. After talking with him (turns out he’s 23, not 15, but he gets that a lot), I know his life has been rough to him, way rougher than mine has to me, and I really admired how he turned out an optimist, what with the meth addict dad and with parenting his younger brother basically by himself. So many people turn their difficult situations into victim complexes and I can’t even articulate how happy I am that this one guy chose to spread joy instead of something darker. He brightened up my Thursday/week/life/perspective. Take care and stay dry, Michael. I hate those sappy “Random acts of kindness” bumper stickers, but I do believe in the philosophy at heart, and I couldn’t have asked for a better, more touching random act today.
And I told him he would get blogged about, and I’m a gal of my word.