Friday, April 16, 2010

Good Things

good things will happen note card
Originally uploaded by
you can count on me

Another good day. A guy to get used to this.

It's funny how a small, and simple, gesture of kindness can touch you in such a profound way. Today at work I was having another busy day, meeting with clients, and writing reports. I realized it was time for lunch, so I called the local Vietnamese restaurant and ordered one of my favorite dishes. I told them I would pick it up in about 30 minutes.

Recently I have been talking to my therapist about my feeling of being an outsider. As I have written here before, I have spent most of my adult life single. I dated a lot, and had more than my share of one night stands. Yes, something I'm very proud of. But for the most part, I felt like life had passed me by. For some reason, I felt like good things were not meant to come my way. Then four years ago I met a wonderful man, and he grew to love me as much as I loved him. Good things came our way. We went on wonderful trips, had many romantic nights, and moved in together. Life began to feel like it was going my way.

Well, we all know how this story ended. Michael and I had a really nice ride. We experienced so much. And while on most days I still feel angry, today I feel blessed.

Anyway, in spite of my good mood tonight, my pervasive feeling is that good things are not meant for me. This is how I was feeling earlier today. The sadness that is my life, was weighing a little heavy on my mind. When it came time to pick up my lunch, I was looking forward to a nice walk, and to breathe in some fresh air. It was a very sunny, and beautiful day, yet I couldn't help thinking that the sun was not out for me. It was out for all those that get the good things in life.

I walked out of the concrete building in which I work. I repeated the daily routine of walking by the catering truck that parks along the curb in front of the building. The owner of the truck, a nice man named Dan, called out to me, "Hi Dan." I turned to him as I walked by, "Hi Dan," in return. We greet each other daily, and I often wonder if he knows what my life is like. I met his wife in the past, and they both seem very happy. I continued up the street, then crossed at the light. It's a very busy intersection, and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sound and movement of the traffic. It was one of those moments when I felt a sense of trauma, as if life around me is too much to bear. I prefer the quiet of my cubicle, or the silence of my bedroom at home. At least then I don't have to be accosted by the reality that others have a better life than me. I turned the corner, walked half a block, then entered the restaurant to my left. The hostess, who always recognizes my voice when I call in my order, said my fried rice was ready. I walked up to the register, and reached into my pocket to pull out some money when she stopped me. "No Dan, your lunch has been paid for." I looked up at her quite confused. "Your friend Trish called in and paid for your lunch."

Trish sits in the cubicle that is caddy corner to mine. She must have heard me ordering my lunch. I thanked the hostess, and slowly walked out of the restaurant. I began to cry. Something good happened to me. But, I'm the person that good things are not supposed to happen to. I continued to walk back toward my building. I crossed the street back to where the catering truck sits. Dan saw me walking up with my food. He reached into the pile of ice, pulling out a bottle of Diet Pepsi for me. I handed him my money, and thanked him just as I do each day. Dan always anticipates my return with my lunch, and makes this simple little gesture to see that I have my favorite drink. I entered the building, and walked back toward my cubicle, but first went to see Trish. "Thank you Trish. You moved me to tears." She was on her phone, and just smiled, as whispered, "I'm glad it worked out."

I walked into my cubicle, sat at my desk, and looked into the small mirror that sits next to my computer monitor. Tears were still in my eyes. I smiled and thought, good things do happen to me. I was proven wrong.


  1. i am glad you have a friend like Trish and Dan. it is the accumulation of the little moments that help us get through. you have two in your everyday work life. random acts of kindness. i love it.

  2. kindness counts. Everything else is arbitrary.

  3. What a lovely gesture--from a true friend. Glad you had this kindness today.

  4. How wonderful that you have friends looking out for you!

  5. Wow! Just when we think the Universe has overlooked us, we are reminded otherwise. Great experience and am so glad you shared it.