He was homeless. Long beard, weathered skin. I was sitting in traffic. He walked between lines of vehicles at a stoplight. He carried a cardboard sign.
I rolled down my window and handed him all the cash I had—which wasn’t much. Maybe fifteen bucks. He smelled like an open bottle.
He stood at my window and said, “I don’t know you, but I love you.”
Those words. I’ve thought about them for days.
I thought about them when I drove past an ambulance this morning. Two cars looked like crushed Budweiser cans. Traffic backed up for a mile. EMT’s loaded a stretcher.
One paramedic was hugging a child in the median. The kid squeezed him and cried his eyes out. The EMT squeezed back.
I'll bet they don't teach that in EMT training.
After my friend’s wife died, he adopted a cat. It didn't take long before he’d spoiled the animal. He bought an outdoor pet-bed, a food bowl, a collar.
The next morning, he woke to see
three feral cats on his porch. So, he did what any self-respecting man would. He named them.
The following day, two more feral cats.
“I went from being lonely,” he said, “to being Doctor Doolittle. Cats just trust me.”
Last week, I met an old man who sat at the bar of a rundown beer joint. He was watching the band play. He was deaf.
In a loud voice, he asked if he could buy me a beer. I accepted.
He told me he’d totally lost his hearing a few years ago. He woke up one morning and he was fully deaf.
His life changed. It forced him to retire early. It’s been hard.