I was waiting down at harbourfront today to be picked up by a boat to go sailing.
I was standing around in my fancy dancy work clothing, carrying my camera case (don't leave home without it), and a large bag with sailing clothing. As the boat got kind of near the pier-still about a hundred yards off - I stood up and walked over towards the water, which was guarded by a large chain so no one could stumble in by accident.
Now there was a man slugging rye or whisky straight from a bottle in a paper bag sitting on the edge of the pier as well. I had actually been regarding him a little thoughtfully because he looked like someone whose life was sort of sliding off the tracks a bit. Not a train wreck yet, but....
As I stepped over the chain to stand on the outside, and took off my shoes so I wouldn't lose them in the leap, he was staring fixedly at me. I was concerned that he might get his feet pinched when the boat came up so I was standing there wondering what to do.
Then he said to me, very softly, "You need to take care."
I looked over at him, and there was a pause. Then I realised that he though I was going to jump, and he was trying to help me out.
There was another pause while I digested this, and we looked each other in the eye....I thanked him, and said that I wasn't going to jump, I was goiing to get onto a boat, and I was OK, but he should look out for his feet when the boat came up.
He stared fixedly at me as I got on the boat, and as we powered away. I smiled and waved and wished him a good day.
He was a kind man.
I wish now I had asked after him. He looked a bit like he thought I was going to jump because it was already on his mind.
Whoever you are, I hope things get better. You seem a nice person.