In front of you

Her: (sadly in Chinese) God doesn’t care about me any more. I’m too old. 86.
Me: That’s not true. He’s the one who put me in front of you.

Saw an old friend for dinner last night. We hadn’t talked in ages; last I saw him he was going off to an unpaid internship at Yeah! Local, now he’s now the senior VP at a major internet marketing firm.

We talked shop and it was like talking to an adult after being surrounded by kids all day. Like Sheridan and somea the others, he believes in me more than I do, I think.

Man, I gotta get outta what I’m doing and back into my old life.

On the way there, heard an old Chinese lady yelling over and over again, “CHINATOWN!” on 37th and Lex. She reminded me of my grandma. So I went over and told her in my crappy Chinese that I’d get her there. She was visiting an old friend in a hospital nearby and got lost. Took her arm, walked her to the right stop, and waited for the bus with her.

Me: (to driver) Hey man, this nice little lady needs to get to Chinatown. Can you make sure she gets off on Bowery and Bayard? (driver nods and smiles broadly at her)
Her: (to me in Chinese) Thank you – your Chinese’s not as bad as you think.

Me: (laughing) Nonsense. But I’ll let my dad know you said so. Told you – God put me in front of you.

Hopped off the bus and made it over to the Shelburne. Afterwards, walked from there to Columbus Circle, just cause I can’t sleep anyway. Thought about my mom – if she got lost, I’d hope someone’d help her get home.

Speaking of home, Heartgirl’s on a plane back as I write this. Was only two weeks but I missed her terribly.

Location: at the rents, in front of the tube
Mood: restless
Music: get your plane ride on time I know your part’ll go fine

6 replies on “In front of you”

this story put a lump in my throat. i always have such a soft heart for old asian people. every time i see them in the city, alone on the bus or walking on the cold streets i feel sad.

i remember one year it was frigid cold and a halmoni had on a backpack and stopped me, asked me if i was korean, and wanted to know where she could buy soy sauce. the closest place was probably 8 blocks away but it was probably -5 with the wind chill. i felt so bad i didn’t have a car or couldn’t help her out. i just wanted to tell her to go home.

afterwards the whole experience stuck with me and i wished i’d done more. like go into the two asian restaurants in front of us and ask them to sell me soy sauce in a take-out container or SOMETHING. so yeah, we gotta take care of them cuz they’re someone’s parents and i’d want someone to treat my mom and dad the same.

I helped an old lady find her bus the other day. She was an old asian lady who just retired, and after 16 years of living in the city, wanted to walk around downtown to see what it was like during lunch time with all the business people about, since it wasn’t something she was able to do.
I always hope someone does the same and shares a moment with my dad.

ps, I think you’ll like this:

Suz – thanks for taking the time to write such a long comment. I’ve had many moments like that, where I felt I should have done something. But don’t feel bad about the past, do something good in the future.

YM – I’ll take that compliment to heart. Many thanks!

Alana – I love that song and I’ll most likely put it up at some point on my music blog. Thanks!

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