I have been inspired to start this series of posts by a handful of occurrences from the past week in which I tied up some loose ends. From now on each post will be one occurrence, but here are the initial few grouped together.
I walked by a man waiting at a bus stop. The bus approached. He asked me for two $5 bills for his $10 bill. Realizing he was trying to save himself from wasting ten bucks for a single bus fare (why don’t those things give change yet?), I offered him a 5 and three 1s, the only bills I had in my wallet, and he accepted. In retrospect it may have seemed a bit odd to the other man waiting at the bus stop. “Hi, can I give you 8 dollars for 10 dollars?” “Ya, thanks!” “Alright, peace.” The bus arrived shortly after. He was able to get on and hold on to a $5 bill he would have otherwise been throwing away had I not been there. I walked off with two extra dollars, first proud, later ashamed.
I later gave these extra dollars to a man asking for money at the train station. He was well dressed, asking for money, so there’s no telling how many refusals he had gotten that day and how many working people he had pissed off. It cost me only $2 for him to get his train, or his coffee, or his other drug of choice, and to relieve countless other commuters from having to pretend not to hear him as they continued on their less needful ways. +2
Total Loose Ends Tied: 2
A week later I was on my way to Kenmore Square in Boston to see the old buildings that were Grahm Jr. College in the 1960s. Andy Kaufman attended. I like him. Thank you veddy much. I was riding a Hubway bike in the rain toward Kenmore. It may as well have been a Fischer Price with the way it handled. I saw an Apple on the ground – an iPhone. Quickly put it in my pocket and brought it in from the rain.
I emailed her. Hi, I found your phone out in the rain so I decided to take it in and give it shelter at the Barnes & Noble in Kenmore Square. They’ll have it at the counter. Don’t worry, it’s still seems to be working! -Patricia Kaufman
She replied later on. Will, MANY THANKS! I’ve just picked up my phone & couldn’t be more grateful. She spelled my named wrong. It’s one “l”. But she seemed happy. I mean caps and an exclamation point. Takes a lot to get there nowadays. And she was a Kaufman – an unexpected extra? Fate? Probably nothing… My finger did spark the first time I touched Kaufman’s dorm building. +1
Loose Ends Tied Up: 3
I left the library and took a call. My phone is much shittier, even shittier than the iPhone 3 she had. But of course, neither is actually shitty at all. A beggar with a cup 30 feet away in front of the McDonalds wanted a smoke. We negotiated the entire deal, the asking, the agreement, the “you got a light,” and the the thanking, with hand gestures alone as a I continued to talk on the phone. I liked that. As he lit up, so did I. +1
Loose Ends Tied Up: 4
On the way home I encountered an old arts-and-craftsy type lady screaming that someone had parked behind her car in her driveway. Kids were getting out of school across the street and it was likely that another mom had decided to park there just for the few minutes it would take to retrieve her kid. Art-and-crafts lady saw it differently. This was an abomination, and the highest of criminal acts. A pen and pad materialized in her hand and she began jotting down the license plate. I’m not sure how numbers could be fashioned with the anger of those hand gestures. Maybe it was all an act. The other mom came back, apologetic. Art-and crafts continued, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’D DO THIS TO ME. I’D NEVER DO THIS TO YOU. I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO GET TO. I’D NEVER DO THIS TO YOU.” It’s hard to imagine there’d be a scenario where she needed to and equally hard to imagine the apologetic woman would be this furious about it. So apologetic woman moves her car and is apologetic and Arts-and-crafts storms back in her house. I stick around, attempting to film as I’ll start doing for these things if possible (I didn’t get any footage here as I thought my head might get bitten off or smashed by a repurposed Mason jar). The most important thing to me was making sure the apologetic mom was ok, so when she finished moving her car I made it clear, “Her cat must’ve run away. You didn’t deserve that.” These words were enough to restore a smile to her face and I’d like to think that maybe this prevented her from a day of feeling sorry for herself then going home, divorcing her husband and beating her child for taking her sweet time exiting the school. You never know. Butterfly effect. By the way, Art-and-crafts took another ten minutes to leave her house and by then apologetic mom had left with her child. Meh. +1
Loose Ends Tied Up: 5