I'm sitting here at Starbucks in the Valley getting some work done, or at least trying to. I've been complaining and bitching all morning about things that are not going right or need to happen later today, my feet are cold when it should be warm today, my coffee tastes watered down, etc.
About an hour ago, a fellow walks in and is helping someone else through the door. This person is half-sitting, half-standing in this motorized wheel chair of sorts. They finally get him over to a table across the way from me. This device he is in slowly morphs into a standing table and allows him to stand. It seems he can walk, but very slowly...and he can't sit down for some reason.
He looks to have been through some terrible ordeal or was born with some horrible defects. Much of his skin is disfigured as if through a awful fire, he can't weigh more than 80 pounds, has trouble talking and keeping his eyes focused for long, and wears a helmet to protect him from falls it seems. He can't be that old but looks like he's 90.
I'm deeply embarassed as I couldn't look at him because I felt so badly, and of course I didn't want to look and try and understand his condition because it's none of my business...and staring isn't very appropriate.
So I'm trying to focus back on my work but having difficulty, and I look up a few times to relax my eyes and at least twice, he is looking directly at me. I felt HORRIBLE because now I think he thinks I'm staring! But after the second time, I realize he's wearing a Boston Red Sox tshirt. I'm wearing my all-red Angels cap and thought maybe... Maybe...
I would never have had the comfort-level to walk over and just start up a conversation, especially with his difficulty talking (it's a "me" issue, I know). But I grabbed my coffee, walked over, and couldn't say anything at first since his caretaker looked at me first before this fellow could turn his head (slowly).
When he finally did, he had this wicked grin and said "We took Lackey from you and I'm happy, but he's still an ass".
I don't think I felt so happy or laughed so hard in months.
We ended up talking baseball for 15 minutes and his eyes just lit up! I could just tell it was such a great escape for him, like for many of us. He had this home-made Boston sticker on his motorized chair that he had pride in which was great. I wished him well and on the upcoming season, grabbed his hand to shake it, and got a refill of coffee.
If I bitch about one more thing the rest of this month, I should forever be ashamed. I feel blessed, and especially blessed because baseball (and sports) allowed me to connect with a great individual this morning that I would have never done so with otherwise... And I'm so much the richer for it.
Just wanted to share that. I'm sure others have had a situation where sports or baseball created a memorable moment that otherwise might not have happened...