Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Orleans Valentine's Gift

A few years ago in February I went to New Orleans to run the marathon.  There were five of us.

On February 14 we were in a ward in a scary part of town and stopping to see if I could find a duffel bag to carry back some free shirts I got for Bel Inizio.  I left the car and was walking down the sidewalk towards the dollar store acting as comfortable I could be as a white tourist in a very dark black poor part of town. So far that had not been a problem. Maybe I am naive and certainly am trusting but there really is not much to mug in my world.

Anyway, a man rushes across the street towards me. Old, white, unshaven, dirty clothes, and comes right at me. But not in a scary way. Or not in a way that I was scared.  He gets right up to me and without looking, pushes a package in my hand and says "Happy Valentine's Day" and walks on.  By the time I got my balance he was half way down the block.  It was little red box about the size of a deck of cards. Unopened. It had red and pink hearts on it.

I felt like the gift giver was an angel.  A homeless, smelly, angel that Tom sent. And maybe Tom sent the angel so I would know he loved me and missed me and that is was ok to talk to the old dirty homeless guys on the street.

The Valentine box was never opened (even in my worst chocolate cravings) and sat on my dresser where I looked at it every day.

Last night, Jakethevildog found the box. Why he would suddenly find it after all this time I  have no idea. Clearly having no respect for homeless angels, ruined New Orleans, and Tom's touch, he chowed down. When I found it I was so sad I could barely beat the crap out of him. But I managed.  And in a few minutes, after lunch settles, I am going to have a chocolate.  It is an old chocolate now, from new Orleans, from an angel/man I will never know, that has dog slobber on it. And I will thank Tom for his gift, get out the scotch tape, and place it up higher on a shelf.

No comments: