It’s funny how certain things stick with you even when they probably shouldn’t. Small insignificant events can nag at your brain and you have to wonder, why?
It was Wednesday morning. My commute was all but over with just two stops left. I switched over to a seat with a table and he sat across from me. He was what we, in the financial accounting business, would call a hot-mess. He missed a button on his shirt and his hair screamed before-picture. He left his laptop bag and coat on his seat and got up to, presumably, use the choo-choo-loo. He also left a takeaway coffee cup on the table between us.
My nose was deep into Catch-22, but I can’t lie: I saw the man with the plastic bag and eerily near transparent blue gloves come through the car (he is a character for another post, by the way). He grabbed newspapers and other rubbish and made his way to our little spot. He took the coffee, and I didn’t stop him.
Needless to say the hot-mess came back and made that where-the-bloody-hell-did-my-cup-of-coffee-go face. When he finally released the tension in his shoulders, he looked at me and all I could say was “the man took it.”
I didn’t apologize, but I should have. I thought prevention when it happened, but I didn’t act. I could have saved his cup from the bag, but I didn’t. It’s a small thing, a cup of coffee, I know. Get over it. But we have to look out for each other – all of us, including the hot-messes we cross insignificant paths with because some days, and we all have them, the loss of our morning cup could be just the trigger to ruin our day.
With a finite calendar for each of us, who needs that?