Sunday, 26 July 2009

Kindness Cheers a Lonely Heart

It was a lonely ride and the subway car seemed cold and sterile, and the people, distant within the circle of their own. Thoughts of isolation and longing swam in front of my eyes, clouding my vision, making it difficult to comprehend the Gaiman novel my hands. Longing; longing; longing...

Longing for intimacy, longing for touch, longing for whispers of stolen secrets in the night, longing; longing; longing...

The doors open, I push past, the escalator whirls to life as I approach. Nothing more than a charade, it knows only my weary legs yet it does not care. And then a distant smile, an excited but hesitant wave, my old 'friends' from Icarus, extreme martial arts. Essentially we practiced flips, cartwheels and kicks for show, but never spoke very much, language being a significant barrier. My Korean has improved though and we talk briefly, and I smile a little bit, these guys want me back at training. Smalls things.

We hit a stumbling block and we're lost for words, but then from nowhere a stranger appears, a small Korean woman wheeling a large travel bag behind her. 'Excuse me, do you need my English? Can I help you? Are you lost?' The sincerity, the kindness and the care in the voice melted my cynicism in my mind, warmed the loneliness in my heart and kept my despair, thoughts of the bottle, at bay. I did not need help and without words she realised 'oh, you speak some Korean?' I replied that I did and that I lived nearby, and with that she was gone. But the effect resonated, such simply kindness produced from nowhere, given freely and without cost.
It is the value of a smile, of a warm thought, of a hug given unasked, but sorely needed. It is a commodity we could not do without.

Thank you subway lady, where ever you are.
oh how long for intimacy, for the capacity to share myself, f

No comments:

Post a Comment