Today I awoke able to take a deep, long breath at last. The last three weeks, for reasons which have already been blogged about, are easing up or I am naturally getting used to the pain, uncertainty, the hurdles ahead of me.
I started my day with my pug, Julia Bleu. It was 12:30 am, the maniac’s hours, and we hobbled to the twenty-four convenience store to make my perfect cup of coffee. When we got close to the store, I noticed a seemingly homeless man, shivering in the cold. I have seen this picture many of times, always slowed down and done nothing more. I have been filled with all the various acts of kindness I and my family has received these weeks. I thought at great length, how I too could do more, do something, just anything, more than nothing. So during this night, my wallet flush with cash, I respectfully asked the wearied old man, “Is there anything I could buy you to eat, would you like a cup of coffee or something else?
This small old man, got up from his seat, didn’t say a word and walked into the store. I said, “Let me know what you need, I will be over making my coffee. He might have mumbled I wasn’t quite sure. I finished making my perfect cup of coffee, and looked around not knowing what this man was actually up to. I wanted to pay and head home, but I couldn’t leave him stranded if he needed some help. I peered through the aisles, and finally spotted him. He had piled high many drinks, and snacks foods, which I guess meant I was buying. Time was passing and he appeared in no rush, so I gently said, “I need to leave now can you bring your things to the front of the store?” Without nary a world, or a look in my eye, he heaved his new purchases upon the counter. The clerk looked at me, I replied very quietly, “I would take care of that.” I paid the cashier, who knows me quite well, and I realized she thought I was making a mistake. I let it be, his things got packed in two bags, and I opened the door to let him go ahead of me. “You know,” he growled, “I never let a ‘faggot’ help me out before. Times are tough, for that to happen.” I instantly went from Buddha to full category 5 hurricane without any sunshine. “Sir I said, “I am not a faggot but it doesn’t matter. You see old man, I will buy you whatever you need when I see you, but you must understand one thing perfectly clear. My friends are gay, they are transgendered, some are African American, you get my point. They are all my friends, and I will not allow you to speak ill of anyone of them. Just like I wouldn’t let anyone say hurtful things about you.” “Are you done yet?” “Yes I am sir, I hope you got what you needed, and I hope you heard what I said. “Okay, Christ, no more faggots, I got it.” “Thank you,” I said and have a good night. “You got a name prince charming?” “Yes, I guess I might be a prince, but for sure my name is Corey.” “Please call me Corey.” “Do you have a name?” I hesitantly inquired. “It’s Eugene. You got that?” “Yes, Eugene I heard you. “You will back tomorrow?’ he said sort of nicely. “Yes Eugene I will be back tomorrow. I will see you then. Stay safe.”
On I went a bit over cooked, with Julia Bleu anxious to get back to the house. Did I do the right thing; will Eugene be back tomorrow? I don’t know, but I will be there, and will do as I said so no matter what. I got home and thought about Eugene, and the 1000s of people just like him on the streets. Everything these days, is hitting me hard, I can’t find a light minute to spare my heavy heart. I will be back; will he be there? I have never seen him before. I wondered as my mind drifted, will I get to know him? Will we share our stories?
I then began to write in my electronic journal I am reduced to use, because of my limited hand from the injuries. Oh how I miss my pen and my journal. I began to write about all the random acts of kindness I have received since my fall, and all the kindness my family has received from the death of Jack, and Julia Bleu’s cancer. It is mind boggling to say the least, I know a lot of the people who have so graciously helped, do not have enough money for their own needs and families. Yet they still give. I don’t know to synthesize this kindness and generosity. I thought some more, and I am going to try in my way, ‘to give back to the universe.’ I am not going to put my head down and avoid stranger contact, I am going to try to say at least “Hi.” I am going to remember all that has been given, and make sure not to miss a single opportunity to share my gratitude. I will not overlook those we tried to avoid. I am certainly not Robin hood, but I can do so much more; so much better in this world. I stopped right there, it seemed like enough. To say it, to write it is easy enough. But I challenge myself and everyone else, to do what they feel ‘makes a difference in this world.’ All our contributions will be so different for sure, but what if we tried, just one person at a time. Surely we can all smile and say hello to a stranger? Maybe that’s enough; it’s what you can do. So make it a point to do what you can do.
I can’t get that old crank Eugene out of my head. I wonder and wonder if I will see him tomorrow?
BORN THIS WAY-2016