When I get a text message, my phone makes the noise from Super Mario Bros. when a player collects a coin.
This is childish, but as Tom Baker once said while playing the title character in “Doctor Who,” “Being grown up is no fun if you can’t be childish sometimes.”
This particular text told me DoorDash was on the way with my weekly groceries from Hy-Vee.
Drop and dash
I texted the driver that I was on my way.
But I am slowed by the torn meniscus is in my left knee and a balky right knee.
I got another text from the driver saying the person had left my groceries outside the front door.
I’ve got two bum knees and of course today was the day I order three 24-packs of water.
Every DoorDash delivery person I’ve gotten since I started having my groceries delivered more than a year ago carried my groceries to my apartment.
I dragged my bags inside the building, but these legs only have so many trips down the hallway a day and I was already feeling pain.
The man from the second floor
I sat down on the stairs to catch my breath. I heard footfalls behind me and knew someone was coming downstairs.
“I’m right behind you, sir,” the polite male voice said.
I pulled myself up and released a full compliment of old man noises as I stood.
The young man carried a cup of coffee and wore a Cleveland Indians baseball cap.
He was halfway out the door on the way to whatever he had to do that day when he paused and said, “Do you need some help?”
My knees nearly buckled not from pain, but the sheer grace of the moment.
Another guardian angel
I told him I’d gladly pay him a couple bucks if he would help me carry this stuff back to my apartment. I explained the situation about me knees.
“You don’t have to pay me anything and I’ll help you with all of it,” he said.
Sometimes kindness is so beautiful it almost makes you crazy.
The man handled the task in three or four trips.
He complimented me on my pop culture menagerie décor.
I introduced myself. His name was Charles. I didn’t catch his last name. I think it was Welker or Walker.
He’s a graphic designer and printer. I love artists.
I talked to him briefly about some business cards I’d like to have made for this website.
He promised to drop a card by.
I hope he does, because like Maddie Smith before him, Charles is one of those people who kindles the hope that we are not all only thinking about ourselves.
We shook hands.
I did something I rarely do: I asked him if I could give him a hug.
“I’ll take it,” he said.
And so will I, Charles. So will I.