A few years ago, I wrote about meeting an angel in a Kinko’s copy shop. This time around, I was an angel for SOMEBODY ELSE, although I didn’t realize it until later.
Yesterday, I was feeling a bit chastened. We had recently gone to a special volunteer breakfast at our church and volunteered for almost EVERYTHING, but no one called us back for ANYTHING. Since I know they need volunteers (otherwise, they wouldn’t have held the breakfast), I assumed it was the old UFO prejudice coming to the fore again and that made me very sad.
I had daydreamed about joining the clown corps and visiting sick kids in the hospital and old folks in nursing homes. Since I like to sing as I move about my day, and I know a lot of old standards, and since I’ve been a teacher, I also know many silly kids’ songs and rhymes, so I thought I would be a “singing clown.” I even bought a harmonica when I was picking up a gift at a local toy store! But the phone remained silent.
Then I went across the street to a local coffee shop for an expensive cup of coffee. I took along some Hollywood Reporters to read. If you subscribe to this publication, you receive one or two of them every day and they seem to multiply like mice, so I consider reading this publication to be a kind of “homework.” This made me even sadder since so many things haven’t panned out for us in the movie and TV business.
I was ordering my coffee when I noticed that the woman in front of me was demanding to know if there was sugar in anything, including the soy milk she wanted in her coffee. I thought to myself, “If there’s anything I know about, it’s losing weight,” so I introduced myself and described myself as a science writer. I explained that, as a diabetic, I had learned that almost all milk has some natural sugars in it, but there wouldn’t be any ADDED sugar in it.
She was already very slim (as most folks in Hollywood are. This amuses me, since almost the only thing to do around here, besides go to the movies, is to visit expensive restaurants). She explained that she was trying to cure a skin condition that had baffled a whole string of dermatologists.
I told her that eating sugar wasn’t the cause of her condition and from the strident way she spoke, I could tell she was very highly strung , and I also recognized that her particular skin condition is sometimes caused by stress, so I mentioned this to her. I also told her that her doctor could prescribe one of the many new anti-depressants for her that would create a subtle change in her mental state and wouldn’t hit her like a sledge hammer, as some of the early anit-depressants used to do. I have some of these new pills that I occasionally take before bed and when I do, I always wake up happy.
She was very relieved by this and thanked me for the information. I said I was glad to be able to help and took my expensive cup of coffee over to the seat I’d reserved with my bag of periodicals, feeling guilty because the coffee was NOT cheap and we’re trying to watch our expenses while waiting (perhaps futilely) for our Hollywood “ship” to come in.
It wasn’t until the next day when I was washing some carrots that what had REALLY happened suddenly dawned on me: I had been an “angel” for someone else! Instead of being a volunteer in an organized way, I had volunteered the knowledge I’d gained from dieting and writing news stories for our website to help someone else. Then I realized that Easter weekend was coming up, and I thought, “How appropriate: I was an EASTER angel!”
The coffee was good too, although I’m not sure it was worth $5.
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