Saturday, April 21, 2012

It's a Beautiful Day - The Power of 11

I just went outside to take out the garbage and the recyclables out. So there I am, at about 6 am, in Cat in the Hat pajamas and my top hat (can't show anyone my bedhead it's crazy). 

I had a little gathering the night before so there were quite a few extra bottles of Magic Hat beer to take out. As I am bringing the blue bags that you must put recyclables in or the trash guys will kill you, a lady is coming by with a cart who in the mornings goes down the blocks opening the bags and collecting the bottles for the refunds. She is very polite and takes the bottles quietly and carefully re-ties the bags as to not make a mess (not like many others who just rip them open and leave a mess). I see her, smile at her, and say good morning which catches her by surprise because many neighbors yell at her - thinking she is the one that messes up their trash bags. I know she is not, but I guess I startled her so one of the bags rips, bottles fly everywhere, and she nervously apologizes and tries to tie it back up but it's beyond hope as it's one of those cheapo thin thin recycle bags. 

"I'm so sorry, please, please, I apologize," she says while looking ashamed.

"It's nothing don't worry about it, I know you don't rip up the bags like others I'll just get another bag, don't worry about it, take the bottles you need," I reply, wanting to calm her down.

She calms down, kindly says thank you multiple times and continues to collect the beer bottles that have strewn about the sidewalk, but in a very nervous manner.

I run inside to get another bag, think about the situation for a moment, and reach into my pajamas, and low and behold I have 11 bucks crumpled in them that I didn't even know about. A ten and a one. I go to grab the one to give to her but something tugs inside of me and I realize again what 11 symbolizes, that we are all connected, that we are all all one, even though we are individuals at the same time. Plus, I just found the money myself...why am I being so cheapo? Who needs it more right now? I know the answer.

I hand her the 11 dollars and she almost has a heart attack of shock. 

She looks at me with half total bewilderment and half complete joy, as if she just won the lotto.

"Thank you! Thank you! Why you do this?" she asks as if she can't even comprehend it. Most likely she is too used to being yelled at and scuttling off.

"I've had money challenges too. I've been there. I've had to collect bottles too, and I wished someone would help me a little, and somehow, someone always did, so I am just helping you a little now."

Tears well up in her eyes and she gives me a big hug and again thanks me. Now I'm crying too, but it is a good one of joy in recognizing another self feel happy. She again looks down at the 11 dollars as if it were 11 million.
The garbage truck comes by and one of the guys notices the scene and I kid you not he has a little ghetto blaster that is playing, "It's a Beautiful Day" by U2. I don't really like U2 much but I love that song and now we're both laughing, realizing how odd this must look to the garbage man.

"Hey, how's everybody doing!? Alright alright! Spread the love, spread the love! It's a beautiful day!" he says in a thick New York accent.

I laugh, go back inside, hearing the music trailing off and trying to process the entire experience that just happened and I think to myself.

Indeed it is a beautiful day.

- Blackout

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