Addendum: I had wanted to put this up earlier and thought I did but instead of clicking Publish I clicked Save Draft. Damn thick Spartan fingers.
I’ve been with the same woman for closing in on 20 years. I don’t see that changing and I know her enough to say that any public statement of my love for her would make her uncomfortable. Suffice to say that’s not what you’ll be reading here. Instead I’ll tell you about a different type of interaction, of human kindness and civility.
- I usually take the train or drive to get around. I haven’t used the subway, or as we call it in Montreal, the metro for at least a few months. I had occasion to do so and thought nothing of it until last Friday.
- I sat in a single seat, opposite another single seat, and listened to Howard on my iPhone. I barely noticed an older, slight woman sit directly in front of me and pulling the hood of her winter coat down decided to catch a nap. A few stops later she looked blearily up and in french, asked me how many stops are there till Berri UQAM stop. That was when I caught a whiff of booze on her breath. Berri was a good 12 stops further and I told her so to which she was surprised I even acknowledged her.
- I hadn’t noticed before, but she was dressed shabbily and looked incept. I didn’t think she was homeless because she told me she lived near the metro station.
- Two seconds later she made a motion under her eye of a tear and smiled nervously. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was sad, she couldn’t remember the last time anybody took the time to speak to her. She then promptly thanked me and said I was kind and a gentleman.
- This unsolicited praise and uncomfortable situation was very surprising to me. I became further uncomfortable when in between stating how lucky my wife must be and how you don’t see civility like mine anymore she told me she wanted to die and that her life was full of torture. I told her I didn’t know what to say, I just met her and she shouldn’t put that much stock in people she just met.
- As I got up to get to my own stop she thanked me again for talking to her and she reached out to shake my hand. Before I could understand what she was doing she took my hand in both of hers and kissed it like I remember kissing the hand of priests during Easter Mass. I shakily said goodbye and went on my way to work.
- This wasn’t a romantic story, but it was one of compassion and kindness. I spoke and treated this drunken, overly affectionate old lady with the same civility as I would’ve anybody else and she was beyond grateful. Despite the looks and stares, and more than an occasional snicker I didn’t get up and go somewhere else in the metro car as some people nervously did but I stayed and showed her some simple human interaction. It wasn’t profound or life altering on my part, but it obviously, at least made her day.
Mad Gods – ReduxMadGods-Volume IMadGods-Volume IIMadGods-VolumeIIIMadGods-Volume IVMadGods-Volume V
As seen on perezhilton.com & joblo.com & athanos1964 & howardstern.com& geektime.com & enigmaTV & JAKonrathblog