I shared in another story one of the cool things that happened during a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, (“The End is Near,”) and now I’ll share this one.
While my husband and I were in Seattle, WA, we visited a couple brewpubs and a place called The Blarney Stone Pub.
It’s a nice little bar/restaurant, with a neighborhood feel.
We had ordered some drinks and food, and while we were waiting for our food, I decided to head outside for a smoke break.
They have a little seating area outside the front of the bar, for such a break.
As I was sitting there, drinking my Guinness, I was watching all the beautiful people pass by, and hoping they wouldn’t see me.
Judgment and being seen as a second-class citizen comes with the territory of being a smoker.
In the little seating area there are two stools on both sides of the entrance, with pails on the ground of each area for cigarette butts.
It was a beautiful day, and the foot traffic was heavy during the lunch hour that we were there.
And my mind, as it usually does in the presence of many people, was going miles per minute, in many directions.
Then I spot him, a man, disheveled in appearance. Walking and weaving, hands flailing about while talking and even yelling to himself.
No one else seemed to see him, but amid the traffic of beautiful people, he stood out like a precious stone among sand to me.
He stopped to look inside the first butt pail, but they were empty of cigarette butts. He kept on weaving/walking and talking down the sidewalk, then he sort of hung out just beyond where I was sitting, on the other side of the traffic of beautiful people.
I pulled out a cigarette, and waiting to catch his eye, then held it up, in a way that asked if he wanted it. He gave a quick nod, continuing to talk to himself and weaving, came over to get it from me.
Then instead of walking on, he hung around long enough for me to pull out my lighter and ask if he needed a light.
All of this happened without words.
As I light his cigarette, he placed his hands around the flame to guard it from any wind, but also careful not to touch me…not that I would have minded if he had.
And in that moment, just as the cigarette was lit, a quiet peace. Absent from the noise around us, absent from the bombarding thoughts in our minds. He looked straight into my eyes and said-“Thank you.”
Then he returned to the walking/weaving and talking to himself that he had been just before coming across my path.
And with my heart and eyes filled, I cried.
We had made a connection, and touched one another’s pain with love.
I don’t know if he’ll ever remember me but I know, I’ll never forget him.
This beautiful brother of mine.