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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Karmic karma, or, Mary had a little shelf

I just did my good deed for the day and it's already paid off.

First, I had a great session with my programming tutor this morning. He's knowledgeable, flexible, enthusiastic, and ready to assist any way he can. I walked away freaking excited and ready to dive in. Thank you, sir, for your kind attentions. I feel rejuvenated and cant wait for our next meting!

Then I got home, and Fenix had made a mess in the bedroom. Territorial marking (also known as "pissing"). On my pillow. The last mess, I decided, and went out to purchase a latch for the French doors so he can no longer go in when I'm not there. Or even when I'm there, as it's become a bone of contention between Cougar and Fenix, hence the marking behavior.

Absolutely. Totally. Off. Limits.

So I'm in Ace Hardware on Clement Street. Luckily, I found a parking spot. My plan was, after shopping, I'd go across the street and work in Cafe La Flor. So I'm checking out latches. A salesman in the sane isle is helping a little old cane-leaning lady with her purchase: one of those fiberboard shelving units you build yourself.

She's planning to take it on the bus. The salesman tells her that there is no way she will be able to get it home. She says she was told she could, then asks to use the phone. Then she see's me.

"I saw you drive up. Can you take me home," she asks.

My mind quickly spun from surprise to options to responsibility to desire to justifications to ways out to the right thing to do to the only possible response.

" Sure," I said. "No problem."

But it was, because I had a parking space (no mean feat in Little China Town), and a full parking meter (they max out at 1 hour for $1.50), and a schedule. And none of it trumped a fellow human being in need.

As we checked out, she offered to pay for my stuff. Which made me smile, but of course, I declined. On the ride to her house she told me that her name was Mary, she would be 89 on Wednesday, and she'd lived in SF for over 40 years. We had a nice little chat, and there was no way you'd know she's 88.9 years old. She's still got it.

So we arrive at her place and she tells me I can leave the shelf by the elevator, she'll take it up. No way, this bad boy was heavy! After taking it up and in, I realize I'd left my computer in the Jeep (panic!) and hurried on my way. As I was leaving, I hear her voice.

"I'm up here, Cliff," she says. I look up and she's hanging over a second floor railing.

"Now that you know where I live, maybe we can have lunch one day?"

Of course, I tell her, wave, and then head back to Cafe La Flor. As I reach the cafe, someone pulls out of a space right as I'm approaching, and I pull in. I have just enough change to fill the meter. You may not see the magic in all this if you've never been in the neighborhood. Trust me on this - finding a spot on the first pass is NOT chance. Instant, undeniable karma.

If all goes as planned, I'm going to stop by Mary's place on Wednesday and drop off some flowers for her birthday. If she hasn't had lunch, it's on me.  Right now, I could use all the good Karma I can get land to be honest, if I can bring a little pleasure to her day, I think that will be enough.

UPDATE: I just checked my e-mail and my tutor sent me a VERY nice e-mail in which he decreased his rate by 25%. Wow, wow, wow…

UPDATE2: I had uncanny bus Karma today (Sunday)…I would get off one bus and my connecting bus would pull right up…this was between the number 5 and the 33, which usually has me waiting between 15 and 45 minutes each time. This is beginning to scare me…


Minda said...

Doing good deeds for others always has it's benefits. I'm glad you help Mrs. Mary and happy that it gave you good Karma. You did the right thing.

synergy boy said...

you are a sweet, thoughtful, lovely man, and you deserve all the good karma you can get. congrats on helping out a nifty person who needed it, and getting yumminess in return.


ejura said...

First time here and this post made me smile. You guys live way differently than we do here. Everything is so programmed at your end and it seems you live within a system.An 88 year old woman going shopping by herself? It's so hard to find that level of independence at that age in Africa [Nigeria].Nice blog. Nice kindness. Nice cats. I'm wondering what a tablet is but I'm afraid to ask so I won't sound dumb. Isn't a tablet that thing we swallow?

Clifford said...


Thanks for stopping by...the world is getting smaller by the day! And thanks for the kind comments.

In American, an 88 year old lady taking care of herself isn't unusual. Sad, but not unusual. Community is something we've lost, in many ways, and a simple gesture, like giving an old lady a ride home, is sometimes fraught with issues that result in the best of folks, turning their backs.

About Me

My photo
This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.