Where kindness is needed
To the editor:
I was riding my bike home from the theater. The bike light pierced the dark with authority. I always wear my orange reflector vest, day or night, and I had my helmet on because I’m a believer.
Almost without warning I came up on a teenager. His bike rusty, no helmet, he was kneeling down fixing something. I stopped.
“Can I help?” He pointed to his chain that had jammed.
I’ve fixed a few chains in my life, and working together we got it right.
I asked, “Where do you work?”
Not a trick question, no hidden agenda.
He mentioned one of the fancy restaurants.
Said, “Dish washer.”
Then he pointed to my orange vest and asked where could he buy one.
“Do you bike the bridge?” I pointed.
He nodded and said, “And more.”
I got it. Across the causeway, three miles from where we stood, wouldn’t get him home yet.
A whole lot more to his journey until he got back to a place, where I’d bet he didn’t have his own room.
It wasn’t a noblegesture, just some kindness.
I started to take off the orange vest. Agitated, he said, “No, No.”
I handed it to him, held up two fingers, “I got dos. Back at mi casa,” and showed him how get it on.
He said thanks, and I remembered two more words from 9th grade Spanish.
Standing there in that dark night, I started to unsnap my helmet.
More agitated, he said “No. No.”
But I held up two fingers. “Dos.”
I reached into my rear basket, and pulled out my spare helmet.
He tried that one on, and destiny made it fit. I re-snapped mine, and we rode together in silence until my turn off, where we shook hands.
The lights of a lonely car coming up in the dark of the half moon shined on his orange vest and our wet eyes.
Do any of you ever wonder who washed that wine glass in the restaurants you go to?
Is there a way you can think of to show your kindness to the night workers biking home over the causeway “and more”?
Sidney B. Simon