Another scott evil sober story®
I left my Sunday afternoon AA meeting in a bit of a rush, because it’s my nephew’s ninth birthday today, and I wanted to get home to call him. As it turns out, it had started raining, and I was ill-equipped for the weather. No problem, I thought. I’ll take advantage of the Underground City. I headed to the entrance to Westmount Square on Greene Avenue. At the door, about to go out into the rain, was a little old lady. In a not-too-thick accent, she commented that it was raining, and asked me if I knew how to get to the metro, because she didn’t know this part of town well.
I told her I was headed that way, and that I would take her there. We walked through Westmount Square to the interminably long tunnel that leads to Atwater metro. She said she needed to take the #138 or #104 bus to get home. I told her I didn’t know where to catch either bus, but that we could check the map once we got to the metro. Along the way, she asked me where I was from, what I did for a living, and things like that.
We got to the metro and found the map on the wall. As it turns out, both bus routes start at the Atwater bus terminal, so I told her I’d take her to the bus stop. We walked through the other mall, then she mentioned she wanted to buy a card for a friend of hers who had just had a major back operation. I said I’d take her to a store where they sell cards. She kept asking me if she was bothering me, if she was taking up too much of my time, if I had to be anywhere. Of course not, of course not, of course not. We went to look for a “Get Well” card, but she didn’t find anything she liked, so she said forget it. I told her I’d take her to the bus stop.
Well, there are many bus routes with stops around Cabot Square, and we walked around trying to find either the #138 or the #104 stop. She was worried that my hair was getting wet. I told her it didn’t matter - I was just going home anyway. Where did I live? Just over there, I said, pointing in the general direction of my building.
I told her it was my nephew’s birthday; she asked me how old he was, and I told her. Oh, so you must need to go see your nephew. No, I said, he lives with his parents in Ottawa. I’m going to call him when I get home.
Finally, I knocked on the door of another bus and asked the driver where the #138 or #104 stop was. The bus driver said the #138 stop was right in front of the AMC cinema complex. We headed that way, and the bus was right there. I helped her across the street, and she got on the bus.
“Thank you. You’ve done me such a wonderful favor. God bless you,” she said.
“It was my pleasure. Have a lovely evening.”
I walked the rest of the way home. When I got back to my apartment, I closed the door, and collapsed on the floor, in tears.
There was a reason why our paths crossed. She helped me “get out of myself,” as it were, and do something kind for another person, expecting nothing - but nothing - in return.
And I kept her from being a little old lady lost in the rain.