“I need someone to walk me to the stairs!”
Earlier, I heard him shouting for another Metro passenger to turn down his music. I was standing down the aisle on the same car, a crowd of passengers between us.
In fact, dude got so frustrated that he stood up, tapped his stick through the parting crowd, pressed the intercom, and ordered the train driver to exit the cockpit and quiet the DJ. The driver poked out his head and assessed the situation. After a couple-minute-rundown, the driver weighed in on the blind brother’s behalf.
“Turn down the music. He’s listening for the announcements. He can’t hear upcoming stops.”
Logic shushed the music. The blind brother returned to his seat. He continued his cell phone conversation. Talking at the top of his lungs!
When we heard the announcement for Union Station, homeboy stood up and shouted out his recruitment notice:
“I need someone to walk me to the stairs.”
Crickets. He stood brazenly within the silence.
Really, hypocrite! At first, I laughed to myself. Irony. Lost. On. This. Individual.
And truth be told, I’m used to hearing trippy monologues on the train. But most soloists don’t end their scenes asking to be escorted off the train.
Then I had to give it up to my man. I mean, in the first place, don’t you have to be brazen riding the train Black and blind? I didn’t imagine his travel options included a chauffeur.
I decided I had a role to play. From where I stood, I shouted down the length of the car.
“I got you, man!”
I walked up to the cat and told him I was standing to his left. He continued speaking loudly into his phone. Telling a story about money and service dogs and how much they cost and how he chooses to manage on his own.
When the train stopped, he took my right arm and we exited. He remained on his phone, igging me like I was actually on the clock as his chauffeur!
As the crowd thinned, we got closer to the stairs. I asked if we were walking at a pace “cool for you?”
“Just get me to the stairs. I’m good after that.”
“What’s your name?”
“What’s your name?”
We reached the top of the stairs.
He just released my right arm. I don’t recall him saying thanks. I took the steps at my normal pace. I could still hear his voice above the drone at Union Station.
Escorting Prince Eric! A Hallmark Moment? Hell to the no! But a Human Moment. Oh yes yes yes!
You definitely need to be human to answer a call to community!
Riding LA Metro Wreaking Happiness! People get ready, there’s a train a coming!
BONUS EXCERPT from my book, Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right’ : “… I’m a healer. Not the elusive The Healer. Just one healer against manipulation and for inspiration. Believing Black men have the capacity to act and do right. Resting on our tradition of contribution above and beyond any definition that describes us only as reflections of male privilege. I want to communicate with Black men. I want to encourage us to be our best selves. I want to help heal our wounds. I have high expectations of Black men. My calling card is the benefit of the doubt. I am not trying to be an expert or spokesman for Black men. I see Black men as experts on their own lives. I humbly ask them what’s on their minds. I listen. I risk trust. I believe if I come at brothers cleanly they will respond cleanly. My experience says with common sense and common courtesy we can short circuit a lot of defensiveness and belligerence just below the surface in some brothers. My experience says passionate and persistent common sense and common courtesy are actually political styles that counter attack America’s historical breakdown on Black men….” www.blackmanofhappiness.com/shop