With the help of a dairy-free maple doughnut
Sunday March 03rd 2013, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life

One other thing about Saturday: after the oven shopping, Richard thought, and I happily agreed, that, hey, it would be cool to go for an ice cream about now.

This is a rare impulse for us.

We had no idea where such a shop might be in the town we were in and neither of us felt like walking through the mall that was back thataway.

I fiddled with my phone a moment–how do you get Siri to come up again? I’d been able to hear her in the Verizon store’s demo when I bought the phone, but in real life, not so much. And Siri doesn’t come with closed captions. (Wait. If she actually does, tell me quick!)

But I knew how to get to the local Whole Foods from where we were and so we headed there for some single-serving Ben and Jerry’s. Not quite the same, but. Happened to pass a frozen yogurt shop on the way, actually, but didn’t pull in there but just kept going. Huh.

Found a cart out of habit, and, walking in the door, while Richard turned left towards the freezers I found myself turning right into the bakery section–I realized afterwards in order to have a moment to observe out of the corner of my eye before deciding. Reached for a vegan doughnut to bring home to Michelle, put it in my cart, found I did have the courage by that point, and went back a few steps left and stopped a man a moment.

A new veteran, was my guess. Maybe thirty at most. Not much past the entryway but standing in place, staring at the store laid out before him. Tall, muscular,  close-cropped hair, with a hard-looking face fiercely clenching an unlit cigar in angry defiance of all the preppy-health-obsessed-self-righteous-overprivileged-lifestyle and sticker shock that Whole Paycheck can be to some. (Though it’s great for people with food allergies.)

And coming from his hand was a cane with four very small walker feet at the bottom, like a child’s toy of the grandpa’s version. The cane itself, though, was an unexpectedly beautiful piece of woodwork for something with such a Medicare-suggesting end.

Mine, though nowhere near as nice as his, was carved and stained in two colors of varnished wood candycaning around each other. With the usual thick ugly black rubber tip.

I lifted it a little and looked up into his eyes, and because of what was in my hand, he was willing to meet mine.

“If you’ve got to use’em, might as well be a nice one,” and I complimented him on the woodwork in his.

His face changed entirely. He almost laughed but for that cigar he wasn’t about to let fall.

I don’t know who he was. I knew in my bones he needed that moment and that that’s why we had had to go there, and so, turns out I needed that moment too and didn’t even know it till afterwards.

7 Comments so far
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Beautiful. No coincidences, of course…

Comment by Channon 03.04.13 @ 8:38 am

sending a little joy into the lives of others — always a good thing!

Comment by bev 03.04.13 @ 9:20 am

Amalie used one of those little 4-footed canes, but it didn’t have any fancy woodwork. And obviously you know the difference between frozen yogurt (yozen frogurt?) and ice cream.

Comment by Don Meyer 03.04.13 @ 10:44 am

Takes one to know one. And just a few minutes of caring can make a world of difference. And a different world. 🙂

Comment by DebbieR 03.04.13 @ 1:53 pm

I would expect that a man clenching a cigar in a California Whole Foods (Los Altos?) needs a friend. It’s grand that you could be that friend for those few moment.

Go Alison.

Comment by RobinM 03.04.13 @ 7:11 pm

Blessed Be.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 03.04.13 @ 8:16 pm

It’s a wonderful thing to help someone not take themselves so seriously by taking them seriously. Well done!

Comment by twinsetellen 03.05.13 @ 9:35 pm

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