I debated mentioning about the guest passes here yesterday, because you do a good thing just because the world needs more good things done to others, not to brag about it.
But I wanted a journal record of it, and, I later realized, of everything that had led up to that moment and how it had played out. It took a bit to step forward emotionally to accost complete strangers like that–especially when there were two of them (as far as I knew right then, while actually, there were five) and I knew I could only help but one. Would it be asking the girls who was the greedier or the needier? Certainly that would put them both on the spot? Would they be generous to each other? Would it work out okay? Whether they were friends or sisters I wasn’t sure.
And yet still it felt imperative to just go and do that. Not to anybody we’d passed or been passed by before that moment along that sidewalk. Them. So I did.
But what I’ll never forget was the fervent relief in the voice of the one who exclaimed, “Well YES!” as the other agreed–like I had totally come to their unexpected rescue. (Looking at the ticket prices later, it would have been $210 for that family. No small change.) And then part of the awkwardness was that she was a teenager and she had just unwittingly let show their stress on a surely sensitive subject. It was the other girl who elected to walk the short way to the member door with us after they conferred with their dad.
They could never know we’d gotten on the road 45 minutes later than we’d planned and it was all my fault. Or that Michelle had been totally cool about that. That Michelle had urged me to go to that bakery in Monterey that had been closed every time we’d come before and not chance it being closed again by the time we came out–let’s go there first, Mom, you’ve wanted to try that place a long time. So we did. (For the record, Parker Lusseau‘s almond croissants proved to be the best I have ever had. Worth the drive from the Bay Area just for that.) That approaching the Aquarium after that, I’d suddenly pulled into the lane not going into the garage but had decided on impulse to circle the block looking for a metered spot instead (as if!! Good luck with that!) before heading back towards the city garage. I’ve never done that before because I know it’s completely pointless. And then being a block off for the one-way street and having to try again. Okay. Garage. Got it.
The timing of it all.
And then I had somehow kept on walking till there was someone near me who, turned out, weren’t members and who clearly could use that help that was so utterly painless for me to offer. It had all come together and I am in awe at the choreography.
The one who thanked us so, her face was not just grateful but radiant: as if she wanted to thank God Himself but in a pinch this stranger would do for the moment. And with that, she surprised and gifted me back.
And then we all vanished back into our anonymity and never saw each other again.
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