The Kindness of Strangers

As he stepped up to the cash register I stood behind, he hooked the cane he had used to make his way to me slowly over his forearm.  He was strikingly handsome, for a man easily more than double my age.  His face hung from high cheekbones, pure white hair neatly swooped to one side in a deep part.  He placed a hand in his khaki pants-pocket to pull out his money to pay.

He presented me with a handful of coins.  “Could you take the change, please?”
I studied his palmful of metal, doing quick calculations.  His hand rocked violently as I did so, jingling the coins lightly while I gently picked out the correct about of tender.
“My hand is shaking,” he explained gently and without apology, “because of the Parkinson’s.”
“Oh!” I thought quickly on my feet, then grinned mischievously into his piercing blue eyes.  “I just assumed you were trembling at the thrill of my touch on your hand!”
He laughed, and I returned to my task at hand.  “Or perhaps I’m too old for you…” I lamented loudly.  “That’s always the trouble.  This face has had it’s day, but I can’t bring myself to admit it.  Like Blanche DuBois, ‘I can no more abide a naked bulb than I can a cruel remark.’ That’s a little Tennesee Williams for you.”
“I prefer the Greek saying: ‘Love Conquers All’.  Love conquers all!” he repeated, as though he truly believed it.  

Can you believe it?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.