rushing to an appointment midday, i was about to cross sixth avenue at 23rd street. i was actually two steps into the street when, out of the corner of my eye, i noticed an elderly blind man with a white cane standing at the sidewalk corner left behind in my wake. though my earbuds were in and the music up, i could just barely hear him. i turned around.
'can someone please help me cross the street?… excuse me, could you please help me cross the street?… anyone? please…'
everyone, going north, south, east and west, was blowing passed him. many of those people also had their earbuds in. most people were looking down at their phones. everyone was walking at a fast and furious clip.
i backtracked, took my earphones out, and said,
'i can help you. where do you need to go?'
'just across the street. may i take your arm?'
our hands met as i guided him to my outstretched arm, which he took gently. we slowly walked west on 23rd street.
'how are you today?' he asked.
'i'm well, thank you. how are you?'
'just happy the sun is out.'
'me, too. we've been waiting for this…' i said.
'oh, how wonderful the sun feels on my face!'
i nervously narrated where we were (‘halfway there’ and ‘about to meet the curb’) as he told me where he was headed (‘just over to dunkin’ donuts’).
we made it to the other side.
'well, here we are.' i said.
'thank you so much.'
'my pleasure, have a good day.'
'you, too, my dear.'