Friday, June 4, 2010

Fictional Characters in the Flesh

I’m not talking about Twilight vampires my step-daughter is convinced really walk among us. I’m talking about a character most of us have heard about our entire lives, but rarely ever see. They’re out there. I’ve met them before, but they tend to be elusive, hiding behind anonymity.

I’m talking about …. “The Good Samaritan”. So named for the good deeds they do without asking for anything in return.

Believe it or not (I didn’t believe it at first myself), I encountered one. In New York City of all places. We were in Manhattan last week, celebrating a huge event in our family’s life. My step-daughter – not the vampire loving one, although she keeps the kind of schedule that only the young and the undead can keep – graduated and got a job. We of course, are thrilled beyond belief, given the cost of college and the state of the economy. Anyway, I digress…

We were in Manhattan and somewhere between the graduation, lunch and several taxi rides, I lost my wallet. I knew it was gone for good. I called the credit card companies. I mentally went through every jammed pocket in the wallet trying to remember what I had. I mourned the loss of several family pictures that I didn’t have other copies of. I said goodbye to enough cash to buy the whole series of Twilight Books and DVD’s (for my daughter, not me!). I accepted the consequences.

Somewhere between a bad dream about a morning wasted at the DMV and a nightmare about someone buying a flat screen TV with the credit card I forgot to cancel, we got a phone call. My husband’s cell. 4 am. It had to be my nightwalker daughter, calling to say she’d been mugged on the way back to her apartment. (So, I worry about my kids – sue me!)

The person on the other end of the phone found my wallet, in the hall at Lincoln Center where the graduation was held. He was working the graveyard shift as a custodian and apologized for opening it. He actually apologized. Twice. He’d looked through the stack of receipts, expired coupons, jotted notes about my novel, to find a list I had of family numbers. He called my brother-in-law (same last name) to track us down.

The next morning he met my husband outside our hotel. John tried to give him a reward and he refused. He said he ‘just wanted to do the right thing.’

So, now you know, if you haven’t encountered the GS before, he’s out there. I promise. And I thank him and everyone like him profusely for renewing my faith in mankind. With the daily news we hear about people walking on by while their neighbor is being accosted, robbed, worse, it’s good to know that there are good people out there. Really good people who just want to do the right thing.

Have a great day!

~ Cat ~

6 comments:

  1. Lovely story, Cat.

    Out of the sea of humanity, 8.4 mil you discover a good soul. Destiny is sweet and sour. Of all places to lose such a vital part of your life, it is returned in tact. Thank you for sharing. When we only look for the bad, we will surely find it. When the good finds us, transcendence pushes us above the clouds and we see the sun as if for the first time.

    Okay, enough philosophy. So happy for you, Cat.

    Don

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  2. Thanks for the read and comment, Don. You are so right! We need to keep our eye out for the good and it's there. Best ... Cat

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  3. Thanks for the read, Corra! Hope you're well. Cat

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  4. For every bad story I hear, there's a good one that makes me cheer for humanity. Glad you got your wallet back, knowing the stuff we women carry in our purses, it would have been a big loss.

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  5. Thanks for reading, Joy. I think there are a lot of people that will do the right thing. They just don't get as much attention as the others. Paparazzi should stalk good samaritans instead of the latest starlet on a binge. ; )

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