I clearly got get on my stock photo game… Or take better selfies. Whichever happens first.
A man on the train offers me tissue, or perhaps it is a napkin, because I am sniffling. I decline and say I’m fine. He persists and mentions that he heard me sniffling which is why he offered. I note, with a smile, that I already have one but thank you. I’m momentarily speechless and perplexed.
A moment before this, I noticed him look back at me, oddly, I thought. I scowl as he turns around, clearly fishing for something in his bag. I’m wondering why the man is acting so strangely. Post his gesture of kindness, I’m wondering why in the world he would randomly offer me a tissue, as if I would accept one from a stranger. I’m wondering what the man has done with the tissue that he is so quick to relinquish to me, someone unknown.
After the former exchange, I sat here in my seat on the train and thought. (I’d like to interject here and note that the word ‘exchange’ just autocorrected here on my iPhone to ‘echinacea’… I believe my phone is in my head and hears the cold in my voice, settling nicely in my bones… Can I have honey and lemon with that please?) How did I become so obtuse as to be weary of every gesture that someone makes towards me, least of which is offering my sorry, sick ass a tissue with which to wipe my nose? The question is a part of a larger issue of why society is currently bristling with friction: blacks being scared that cops, more specifically, white cops will kill them or their friends and family members; whites and everyone else believing that all blacks are agitated and ready to strike up a violent protest at the drop of a dime; and every day citizens worried about if they or a loved one will be killed that day in a senseless act of violence. Perhaps, if we all can just take a step back and think- think before we speak, before we act, before we shoot, before we judge -these issues in the world would lessen.
Next time, I hope that I won’t be so quick to assume, to judge, the motive behind someone’s actions toward me. Well, I am paying for my naivety, and my quick-to-judge behavior is not without consequence. As I’m typing this the once congealed snot is beginning to drain from my nose, and guess what? The tissue that I supposedly had is actually an eyeglass cloth.