Sunday, February 18, 2018


I sat on a bench inside the store. I wanted to catch my breath; I hadn’t. I asked the man to pack the bags as lightly as possible. “I have a bad heart,” I apologized. I felt embarrassed and emasculated. “I’m not a man anymore.” I told myself. He packed less than twenty items in more than three sacks.

“I’ll carry them for you,” he said. 

“Thank you. I’m so embarrassed,” I whispered. 

He walked alongside me as we walked to my car parked in the handicap space. I didn’t look handicapped. I’m embarrassed. But it’s too far to walk. As we walked to my car he told me his story. A car accident. A tailgate. He was animated and although he struggled to speak my language, his patter was brisk and energized. I listened and returned his passion. He felt outraged and relieved to hear my echo. He shook my hand and closed my trunk. We both smiled with the joy of our communion. I watched as he walked back into the store and recognized myself in his gait.

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