I was riding the bus the other day, happily knitting away and managing cables without dropping the needles, when some folks helped a blind fellow on and he sat next to me. We started to chit chat, and he seemed very happy that I was talking with him. He told me his name was Abraham.
After only a few minutes, he offered me a job…told me he needed someone to help him run errands and just take walks, only a couple of days a week, and he would pay well. Seemed rather sudden, but I thanked him and told him my schedule was much too hectic, any free time I have outside of work is usually spent with my kid. He persisted a bit, but when I continued to say no thanks he stopped. He did give me his phone number, if I happen to change my mind.
Next he tried to pick me up….wanted to buy me lunch or dinner and have a “good time”. I told him I have a family, thanks anyway. He backed off, although he threw in a comment that these days anything goes….
I moved the conversation to more general things. We chatted about the the weather, the state of the world, kids – he said he didn’t hear from his kids or grandkids much – local politics… We didn’t talk about my knitting, although my hands were busy the entire time.
He asked me to tell him when we reached his stop, which I did. We parted with him reminding me that I have his number, and I can call any time.
I felt rather sad about the whole thing. His loneliness that he didn’t or couldn’t hide, while still determined to protect his dignity. How much he appreciated someone showing him kindness.
I admire his independence. He asked for no one’s help when he got off the bus.
But he was asking me, briefly, for help. A total stranger whom he couldn’t see, knew nothing about. Help that I can’t give.
If anyone in the area does have time, would like to help a fellow out, run errands or just chat, I have Avraham’s phone number.