Monday, June 3, 2013

A Sunny June Morning.

The title is misleading.  Because what I'm about to write was slightly traumatic for me.  I'm trembling and a little teary.  I have a lump in my throat.

The Scene:

I'm working on my report cards, sitting in a bakery.  Window seat, windows all around me.  It's a sunny, June morning.  Beautiful outside.

In front of me, a couple working on their computers, the wife being completely attitude-y and angry and unashamed to lash out at her husband, subtly berating and deriding him for small indiscretions that set her in this 'bad mood' this morning.  This, I know, because she has shared her frustrations with the manager and several servers as her husband chuckles in embarrassment or resignation, I'm not quite sure.

Kitty corner to me, a young South Asian woman in a purple hoodie and jeans, wet hair, just out of the shower and braces.  Late teens, probably early twenties.  A young Caucasian man, strong arms, disproportionately large compared to the rest of his trim body.  He's wearing a loose fitting sports jersey with jeans and high tops and a baseball cap.  He kinda looks like a punk.  But whatever. Little do I realize that this kid will turn out to be one.

I'm hearing snippets of conversation.  I know it's not exactly a good conversation.  But I'm busy and I don't have time to eavesdrop.  Until out of the corner of my eye, I see him reach over and snatch her phone out of her hand.  Voices aren't raised, but are loud enough for me to hear her, not him.

"Dude, don't do that.  What the f---? Dude!"

Snatching the phone from him she repeats, "What the...?"

He says something to her - gets up and starts for the door which is right beside him.

I feel relief, he's going to leave.  She sits back, looks at her phone, and grins - is she uncomfortable or what? why is she smiling?

He reaches the door and comes back, not for his chair, but straight at her, leaning over her while she looks up at him.  Now she's cowering, trying to hide, but it's impossible.  He says something, while reaching for her phone again.

They now have my attention and the attention of the man/husband in front of me.  As I look up, I notice another man - very scruffy beard, unkempt hair pushed under a baseball cap, clothes are dirty, hands are filthy, he has not slept anywhere comfortable last night.  He is crossing the street and coming over to sit on a chair on the patio directly outside.  I don't know why I looked at him.  He was moving, perhaps, and I caught his movement and looked over.  He was dirty and seemed so out of place in this suburban landscape of yuppie-Crate-&-Barrel-Whole-Foods-Panera-LCBO-ness....  Whatever the reason, I noticed him.

Back to the scene.  He storms out, slams the door open violently.  She follows him, raising her voice, "Dude! What the f---?"

He stands above her outside now.  His stance is threatening.  She inches closer, he steps back.  He lunges forward and the man, resting on a chair bounces up, saying something.  The boyfriend starts taking large, bounding steps towards the man.  I'm sure he's going to clock him.  At that moment, the man sticks out his hand.  He offers to shake the boyfriend's hand.

A gesture of peace.

In the midst of tyranny.

I witnessed a man, a stranger, try to help a young woman.  It was beautiful.


She didn't notice.

He took her phone away again.  She followed him away.

My heart leapt into my throat.

On one hand, I saw the absolute worst in a man's power.  On the other, I saw the absolute best in a man's power.

What a lesson.

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Best. Gifts. Ever by S. You is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.