Tuesday, July 8, 2008


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.


elPadawan said...

was he still here when you came back? Perhaps your words were enough to make him think, just like he made you think ;)

mmichele said...

lovely story.

oreneta said...

I didn't go back the same way, I don't know. Certainly I hope things'll get better.

mmichele, it was lovely honestly.

Anonymous said...

It is so sad when people's lives take a turn for the worse even when they make the choices that get them there. At the Superstore where I take the recycling there is a man there diving for bottles. He is always so polite. The few times I have seen him, he calls me Mame and tells me to have a nice day. Once the kids had put a bunch of tetrapaks in that can get refunds so I had picked them out of our recycling. When he came by a few minutes later and was taking bottles out of the recycling that others had thrown in, I gave him the ones in the van. It was only about 6 of them, but he thanked me and told me to have a nice day. He is very kind and respectful.