Thursday, November 5, 2009

the most important meal

I was finishing a run in my neighborhood today, and was coming around the last charming rectangular block before the home stretch. A couple houses in front of me I could see a white-haired old man make a turn up a driveway in his motorized wheelchair. He stayed in place as I ambled by. My ipod was playing the song I plan to use as the soundtrack for my year-end slideshow in a couple months, and I had the volume so loud that I couldn't hear a word from him as I passed by and saw him saying something to me. I was hesitant to know what a possibly senile and fragile man could have to say to me while I was trying to mind my own aerobic business. I stopped and pulled one earphone out.

"What?" I said.

"Have you had breakfast yet?" he asked.

I was surprised by the question, and instantly a tiny bit defensive, like, I don't want to be given a lecture by this grandpa. The truth was, I hadn't yet, which was rare, since it was about 11:30 am.

"Uh, not yet, I'm doing that when I get home!" I responded

"Well here!" he motioned over and fished around in a plastic grocery bag he had in his basket. He pulled out a NutriGrain Bar. I came forward, stunned, but trying to only show polite gratefulness. Once I was nearer I could see just how much he looked like my Great Uncle Bill, who passed away a few years ago.

"Thank you, sir!" I said with a smile. He smiled back. And that was all he wanted to do, just give me breakfast. I wondered how long this whitehaired man hadn't been able to just walk to the store, instead needing this motorized chair. "Have a nice day," I added.

I ran the last block home and ate the bar immediately. Mixed Berry... it's always been my favorite.

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