I always thought kindness and consideration were the keys to good deeds. Turns out, quick reflexes might actually be more important.
On the bus this morning, I sat as far back from the drafty front door as possible (it was about 20 below out there) and started reading the newspaper.
Just as I got to an article about Barack Obama’s distant Irish ancestors, a man in a black leather jacket got on. He was holding his wallet in his hand and asked the driver if he’d change a $5 bill.
I knew what the answer would be: “Not on your life, buddy,” or words to that effect. But before I could leap to the man’s aid, the driver had given him the brush off and he was gone.
My slow-pokeness in helping out a person who needed a break bothered me all day.
So when I passed a Native Canadian lady seated in the drafty entrance to the subway, I made sure I put something in her paper cup. But I still kept thinking I needed to be more alert, pay more attention, be ready for anything … the ultimate ninja good-deeder.
So later, near the subway exit, I heard the distant strains of “La Vie en Rose.” From an accordion? The sound was coming from the opposite direction from mine, but I turned around and followed the music until I found the source.
It was lovely. If I closed my eyes for a second, I was transported to the Left Bank.
I tossed my donation into the squeezebox case and caught the musician’s eye. He looked very Parisian. A dapper gentleman of about 60 with a strong Gallic nose and a snazzy black fur hat.
I smiled at him and said thanks. He smiled back and then winked at me. Ooh la la, nothing wrong with his reflexes.
I’ll have to keep working on mine….
P.S. The incomparable Edith Piaf and “La Vie en Rose.” Enjoy!