Be Selfish for the New Year: Part Two
I continue my year of being selfish. Picked up Danny and Maddie (son and his girlfriend, in that order) at the airport the other night. They flew back from Japan after being gone for ten days. Arlene (ex-wife) drove and parked in front of the airport arrival doors, where the police usually shoo you along. I offered to pay for parking, but she refused. Maybe because she wore fuzzy slippers, pajama bottoms, with t-shirt and hoodie.
I went inside because I needed to know when the flight was landing in case it was delayed (which it was). Called Arlene to see if she wanted anything, she asked for a small cup of coffee. I was right by the Dunkin’ Donuts kiosk, so moved over to order. I stood behind a couple, the woman telling her companion to order whatever he wanted. When the order was complete, she looked through her pocketbook but was going to be a few dollars short. Here was my chance; I stepped up, said be happy to pay the difference. She thanked me then moved to the other end of the counter to pick up her order. Funny, I thought, but her companion did not go with her. Just then the man turned to me and said, “can you buy me a bagel, I’m trying to turn my life around”.
I believe all great redemption stories begin with carbs.
Turns out, he was not with her, he had asked her for food. That’s why she said to him, ‘get anything you want’. She just wanted to get away from him.
But he was mine now.
“Sure,” I said to answer his question, “get yourself a bagel”.
He turned back to the cashier and said, “Give me a blueberry muffin and a French cruller”. I ordered Arlene’s small coffee and waited. He then turned to me and said, “order anything you want, price is no object” (No, he didn’t say that, we just stood there in awkward silence). The cashier told me the total and took my money; the man took my change.
I got my coffee, turned to him and said, “Good luck with your life” – he didn’t move. Guess he will wait for the next life-coach to step up and help turn his life around (maybe protein next order).
Went outside, gave Arlene her coffee, went back inside to wait by myself at the gate for Danny and Maddie’s plane to land.
But I wasn’t alone for long.
After standing for a minute or two, I felt someone to my right. I turned, and it was another man, his left hand gripped the handle of a battered rolling carry-on (that had seen better days). His right hand filled with coins; coins that kept dropping to the floor.
“I know I don’t look good,” he mumbled something that sounded like that, I really couldn’t tell.
He tilted his head down, so I’d see the suitcase in his hand. “I’m going somewhere.”
I turned, took some money out of my pocket, and handed him a couple of bucks.
When Danny and Maddie landed, after we exchanged “hellos” and “how was everything?” I told them about my plan to be selfish this year, to help other people so I felt good. Told them about buying the woman breakfast New Year’s Eve morning, crawling under the car to rip out the damaged muffle from a car so a woman could get home, and the two men at the airport just now.
“You put it out there in the universe,” Maddie said. “You opened the door.”
I know I did, I know I opened the door. But we were less than a week into the New Year. The universe needs to slow down a bit; it’s going to pull a muscle.