Friday, January 12, 2007

Blinding Generosity on the BART

A few nights ago, I was hitting the midnight Bay Area Rapid Transit train back to Berkeley. I had my bike and my backpack, fully loaded with my laptop and my camera. All told, about $2,500 worth of equipment, not to mention about two months worth of writing and photos that I haven’t backed up. I’d told myself repeatedly to be very careful with that bag.

The train I was on didn’t go to my station at North Berkeley, so I prepared myself to transfer as we pulled into the first station. I rolled out of the car and used my bike to scoot across the platform to the other train, and then down a few cars to one that wasn’t so crowded. I got into position, when a Latino guy with a Fedora style hat (who is now my new personal Lord and Savior) came into the train, out of breath, to tell me I’d forgotten my bag on the other train. After losing control of my bladder, I scooted out of the car I was in and back across the platform. Instead of leaving my bike in the middle, I hauled it with me through every car, pulling open the ridiculously difficult doors between each one and barely noticing the curious onlookers. The hat-wearing gentleman was behind me, guiding me to the next car and encouraging me that I could make it. I made it. My bag was miraculously still there. I grabbed it and rolled off the train. I wish I could have kissed the feet of that generous man, but all I could do was catch his eye for a moment and mumble, “You saved me.”

I don’t know how he followed me on foot so quickly. I even made it back across to the other train in time. It seemed like the trains stayed there, perched at their respective platforms for much longer than they usually do. So one of three things happened: either time stood still, I moved at the speed of light, or that short, well-dressed fellow was actually the One Omnipotent Being (or OOB) in human form, able to manipulate both BART drivers at the same time. Whoever he was, I love him.

So after severely scolding myself with a, “don’t you ever do that to me again, do you understand?” I quickly made a promise to The OOB that I would go buy the fattest Christmas Turkey I could find and give it to the next Tiny Tim I saw.

So, I’d like to testify: There are good people still left in the world. Thank Jehova for that. Halelujah and Amen.

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