Saturday, June 28, 2008

"If I wanted your money, I would have kept your wallet."

It was a good day. I ran the 10K in Central Park. We took Poppy to the Zoo, with her pal G. Many of the animals were awake and even the polar bears were swimming. Under a cloudless sky and the warming sun, we feed the goats, pat the bunnies and even got a cab just past the construction for a traffic-free ride home. The Mini-one ate a good lunch and cooperatively hit the sack for a nice nap. Later, we made our way to Tompkins Square Park for some playgroud-ing with another mate, Ben, and stopped at Pete's-A-Place for dinner. Good, indeed.

I dropped the girls off at home, gathered my things and headed out to M's house for a long awaited poker game. My travel plan got interrupted the L Train isn't running weekends, so the buses were lined up to carry us West. I read some found pages and gawked at walking people's from the elevated view. easy trip across town and a lazy five-block walk up to the game. All was well until I reached for my wallet and buy-in money.

Uh, it's not there, in my right-side jacket pocket. I know it was there, I put it there while I was . . . on . . . the bus. Damn! I dropped it, or it fell or Ah crap! A and I decided to walk the few blocks just to see if it was on the street or in trash can. Wandering with the empty sense of loss, I knew it was gone. Down a couple blocks and back up, the perfect spring evening alive with voices and vices.

I called The Girl for some consolation and a quick look around the house. I knew it was gone, just knew. Dammit! Back at M's house I started with the bank card and dialed Customer Service figuring this process would take up most of my time a the card table. Touch toning my way through the menu, the call waiting beeped me, it was The Girl.

"Today is your luck day. Mark has your wallet and is outside the Whole Foods."

"Wow. are you kidding me?"

"No. He said he wait for you. Here's his number. Call him, get in a cab and go get it."

Stunned and amazed, I hung up on the Bank and dialed. Mark answered with an upbeat call of my name, confirmed he my billfold and gave a quick description of himself.

I was 10 minutes away, max, and hopped in a cab. On the way over, I felt the vast wash of loss and realized, too, that he had to call information to get the home number. That in and of itself is a lot more effort than most people put forth. I struggled with some way to pay him back, some way to re-pay his kindness, generosity and selflessness. In any town, those are impressive qualities. In New York City, they're nothing short of pious.

At Union Square, I got out of the taxi and dialed Mark again to find one another. After an acknowledgement and a firm handshake, he reached into his front pocket and there was my wallet.

"I can't thank you enough for this. Can I give you a twenty or something."

With a slight chuckle he said, "If I wanted your money, I would have kept your wallet. There's just some good karma going on here, between us. Keep it up."

He turned, reached for his bags as I wandered off toward M's house, wallet firmly in my rear pocket. I don't know who he is or what he was or where he, but I'm sure glad Mark was in the cards for me last night, there and there.

Thanks, Mark. Thank you SO much.

Submitted by Doug over at elevene

Kindness Returned

At a cafe I worked at for a while, we had a lot of regular customers -- some we liked, some we didn't, some we just recognised. But two stand out firmly in my mind. One of our regulars came in to have a cup of coffee and get some work done while another was having breakfast with her family. The first customer knocked over her drink, and before any of us could notice, the second was on her feet, napkins in hand, helping clean up the spill and make sure the first customer's paperwork and laptop were out of harm's way. It struck me as such a kind action -- disrupting breakfast with your family to jump to a stranger's aid. It struck me even more when the first customer came to the counter to pay for her drink -- and insisted on paying for the entire family's breakfast! It was absolutely heartwarming to see two women who had never met before do such kind things for each other; it went a long way toward putting everyone there in a better mood, and a better frame of mind about the state of the world. So to both of you, thank you for being such wonderful examples of what we should all be striving for!

And thank you to you for this blog; it's put a smile on my face, and I look forward to reading more in the coming weeks.

-anonymous waitress in austin