Consumed by a cloud of smoke, with hands steadily shaking he muttered mindless nothings to himself.
Side-effect from the drugs. Crack, maybe?
At its filter, the thin paper of the Parliament sizzled as he took another slow drag to ease the incessant trembling.
It was only dusk, but had it been any darker, and had I been alone, the sight of him would have kept me from going inside.
As I entered Subway, I noticed the new Jason Mraz song playing subtly in the background.
I waited patiently for the friendly sub-master (the title I’ve dubbed Subway workers. It’s kinda of like being a Barista at Starbucks, only it’s a much cooler title) to take my order and in stumbles the shaking man.
Clumsy and frenetic, he reaches into his tattered pocket for some change to throw onto the counter, while simultaneously taking a large plastic cup from the nearby stack.
“Dis change is for my soda,” he boldly tells my sub-master.
“You need to have $2.17 for that size.”
“Is enough. I have it. It’s all derr.”
“You still owe me $0.50 from the last time.”
As he backs away from the counter, “I tolt choo, it’s all derr.”
This clearly wasn’t a first-time experience for the sub-master, as he tilts down his head and sighs in frustration. It wasn’t worth the fight, and his face had just let it be written all over it.
“I’ve got it. Sir, take back your change. I’ve got your soda for you. I’m paying for his soda. Sir, your change, take it back,” says a voice from the silent observer standing in line behind me.
Excited the shaking man, makes his way back to the counter. With soda in hand he fumbles to collect his change and put it back into his pockets. Nickles, dimes and pennies.
Undoubtedly all that he had.
A few minutes later I find myself paying the sub-master, getting ready to walk out the door when I look over my shoulder and tell the anonymous stranger, “Thank you so much for buying that man a soda. You made my heart smile.”
And then I left. Profoundly moved by such. a. simple. act.
A sincerely thoughtful gesture that seemed to take no thought at all.
The Subway stranger not only showed goodwill and a kind heart to a man desperately in need, but he also showed a young woman there are really angels among us, and she was desperately in need of remembering that.
And the perfect song to accompany this post: