Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just when you think The City’s full of selfish people

There’s a deli on the corner of my block and I usually go in about every other day for something—a soda, a powerbar, cat food or toilet paper. The counter is always staffed by one of three brothers, two of which are friendlier than the third. There’s also a homeless guy who lingers outside. He’s painfully stooped over (his back must cause him immense pain) and in the two years I’ve been living here I’ve never heard him say anything. But those three brothers? Every time it snows or rains or gets too hot even for the neighborhood dogs they invite this homeless man into their store and let him stay all day in the warmth or the cool or the dry, whichever it happens to be given the season. Last fall they even tried to give him a job: they tried selling make-shift bouquets and set him the task of watching over the flowers to make sure customers didn’t just walk away with them. I guess nobody bought because eventually the flowers were gone but the man remained. And now no matter how many dirty looks customers give this man, no matter how wide of a berth they give him as they queue up to buy their lotto tickets and packs of Marlboro Lights, he remains welcome in this tiny Brooklyn store.

Small, casual kindnesses like this? I swear it’s enough to break your heart.


Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

how amazing. thanks for sharing... i needed this today :)

i love the small, beautiful acts of normal people. if i lived in brooklyn, i'd shop here just for this.

1:35 PM  

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