Going to the post office seems to be my opportunity to help people. I don't know why. Things just happen there.
I stopped at the post office a few weeks ago after my carpool dropped me off, to pick up the insane amounts of mail that had collected while I was doing nothing but commute, work, and sleep. As I got back to my car, the guy with the hood up on the Suburban parked next to me asked if I would be willing to give his car a jump.
I started laughing, because I had, not three days earlier, been talking to my dad about whether I need a new battery for my car (short answer: yes. long answer: yes, but I am not willing to spend the money just yet).
"I'm not sure if my battery is capable of that," I said, but once the engine is going it's fine, of course. We got his Suburban started right up.
Today there was a man desperately asking if he could just buy a couple of stamps from the guy at the PO Box window, because the counter was closed and the machine only takes cards (he had a couple of dollars). He needed the envelope to go out today, he said.
I gave him three forever stamps. (I have a ridiculous number of stamps. Why I have so many stamps is a very good question. The answer is that I kept losing books of them between my computer bag and purse and desk at the place I had an office last year, and then I found them all (I think) and they are now in my purse in excess.)
He tried to give me the money, but I told him to help someone else out someday instead.
Then I pulled up my hood and walked out into the rain.
On the way to the post office, I had passed a woman lying on a street corner in the pouring rain. She had a flowered pillow under her head, and she lay next to a wheelchair. Two of the downtown patrol people (the quasi-cops) stood next to her. I assume they were waiting for an ambulance or real police.
I sat in my warm car, waiting for the light to change.
It's strange how people's lives are taking such different paths, right next to each other, I thought.