Krakow, Poland, 2006

Inadvertent Angels

She’s walking down the street
here to help our hinder
to see we dodge defeat
then slips away forever
says it’s chance we meet
beneath angelic flavor

He ambles down the lane
where I wrestle fixing flat
insists no time explain
must buy tube and that is that
by time I see he’s right as rain
wife has tube, store closed fast

– Smith, 2.23.2014

Can’t imagine how this reads without the back story.

Lady and I were helped often by strangers in our 31 months of living in ten countries on three continents 2006-2009.

In Krakow Poland, we checked out of our one-week loft for two months in the old Jewish Quarter, donned our too heavy backpacks and walked cross town to find our new place locked, no one answering the office buzzer. I stood there with the packs while Lady went looking for a fone since she had a few Polish phrases memorized. She came back, unfoned, which is when we decided to get cell fones.

We’re standing there wondering what to do when a young blonde woman bops along, says “Oh, are you trying to get in,” whips out her fone and calls someone, turns to us and explains “They thought it was to be tomorrow,” buzzes the custodians to let us in, carries Lady’s backpack up to our apartment, has the custodian loan us her key until tomorrow, explains she’d just been coming by to tell her boss she was taking a sick day when she saw us, wishes us well and leaves.

In south France bicycling from one wine town to another, I hit a pothole and blew my tire. I was trying to fix the tube with my repair kit when a tall gaunt dude walks up and says I need to buy a new tube and I need to do it now because the store’s closing for mid-day snooze in 10 minutes. I thank him and explain I can fix it. He insists, takes Lady into the store. As they come out with the tube, the store closes, and I’ve realized the tube blew at the base of the air nipple and is indeed unfixable. I thank him gratefully and he leaves.

Two strangers, two saves.

Lot of less than nice stuff going on in the world right now, but folk forget how much kindness and good stuff constantly happens all the time. Pay it back by paying forward.

south France, 2007

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