Getting out of my car in the parking lot of the bookstore I noticed a street kid in a hoodie. He approached me and asked for some spare coins as he had lost his bus ticket. Well, I knew that was only a story but it didn’t matter. Looking at him I would guess he was barely twenty years old but not really. Suffering and neglect had aged him well beyond his years. He accepted a token offering from me with politeness. With a brief smile and a mutter of non-committal I turned and went on my way into the store.
A little shaken by the encounter I carried on with my plan to do a little browsing and spend a gift certificate on myself. Greeted by a pleasant clerk who was impressed that I came with a list of possible titles to shop for I spent a good chunk of time making my selection. The young lady helping me was well read and respectful of my choices.
I didn’t give this too much thought as I carried on with my errands and shopping. Arriving home with some tempting books I settled in for a glorious read. Supper in the form of a casserole was in the oven and the rest of the evening was mine. As I read beside my fireplace wrapped up in a warm old sweater the wind howled like crazy and shook the windows of my little house. Cozy and snug, with hot coffee and a snuggling cat on my lap I continued to enjoy my feast of new reading material.
When it came time to put down the book I was enjoying and reflect on what I would write about today I suddenly thought about the street kid in the hoodie and hoped he had eaten his supper , was safe and maybe even taken the bus home. God knows.
The quiet and pleasantly efficient clerk told me to enjoy my new books and that she was glad to have been helpful.In passing I told her to think of me reading this weekend. With a smile and a nod she went in search of another customer to help. Job done. I’m not worried about her. God knows.