Yesterday Yvette was having a barbecue and I couldn't go.
But before I decided that I was too sick to go, I baked like 500 cookies to bring to the gathering. I mean, it is rude to show up at a food gathering without anything and she said that she needed nothing so cookies are as acceptable as nothing gets.
A sweet nothing if you will.
Anyway, today I woke up still sick as a dog only to realize that I had a huge, fattening problem on my hands. So before I decided that I was far too sick to go to work, which turned out to be when I was already a block away, I put them on ziploc bags and took them with me. I figured that since I've never seen anyone there say no to food, that this would be as good a place as any to bring them.
But I turned around, got off the highway and there they were still...sitting in the passenger seat of my car saying "eat me-eat me". All the while my discomfort had me disgusted by the thought of anything that required chewing. It was raining and while I was praying to be home tucked under my blanket and was thinking of throwing them away I remembered the homeless guy who hangs out at the light by the mall.
I've never been one to give money to the homeless because my first step-father used to always say that you never really knew what would happen to the money. He taught me that if need be, I should take the time to buy food and give people that. So this is something I've always done.
On Saturday, on the way to my training seminar, I stopped by Dunkin Donuts to get coffee and there was a guy outside asking for money. I ask him what he wanted as I intended to buy him breakfast and he said that he would rather have the money. So he got nothing from me.
Today, I had my cookies and I thought of the guy by the mall and I drove slowly until I found him. Thinking of Saturday's experience, I was reluctant to offer him the cookies (these days I've found that Miami people in general are weird) but then I did. He said yes, looked at them and smiled and said he wished he had something to drink with that so I gave him the bottle of pomegranate juice I had in my lunchbox (yes, I carry a lunchbox!). He took my hand, said thank you and smiled at me.
He reminded me a lot of the guy who "lived" across the street from me on the steps of a school on 85th Street back when I used to live in New York. His name was Jack. He was a veteran. He told me stories in exchange for soup late nights when I was coming home from work. I hope that Gus has had the opportunity, or even the desire, to hear them or that if he is no longer there, may he be somewhere where he doesn't need to trade his life for soup....
This morning I felt so incredibly sick but he made me feel so much better. He made me feel glad that I didn't go to Yvette's so that I would have those cookies to give to him. And I was glad and thankful that at that very moment, in the rain, I had a warm place to go to- and that I didn't have to get wet.
And at that moment I felt blessed and cursed at the same time. Because I can't imagine that it is a blessing that some have so much more than others....and with that disparity comes guilt. Because you never know. The world takes a lot of strange turns and that could be you or me and you would hope that someone would be nice to you and yet most people won't.
It's a sad world we live in.