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To Margaret and Roman: Two of My Favorite Strangers

This was originally posted on May 7, 2016, at 9:00 AM on blogspot.

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Hello my dearest readers,

I know, it’s been nearly a month since I wrote to you all.  But this semester has been more trying than the last (which is something I feel like I’ll be saying every semester).  I’ve also, as has happened in the past, been having trouble coming up with things to write about.  It’s been a lot easier rambling on camera for the vlog than sitting down and writing.  I hold a far higher standard for my writing than I do for my videos-which, of course, isn’t to say that my videos are of poor quality-but I am a perfectionist when it comes to my main craft and it is so easy to digress on camera.

But the final day of classes is the 19th, and while I’ll be taking a summer class, I’m going to be a lot stricter with myself with my “at least one post a week” rule.  And I will try to make it consistently on Saturdays.

But anyway, I’ve managed to digress from the reason behind this post: Margaret and Roman.

A few weeks ago, I went to a Yankees game with my sister (she was given two tickets at work).  It was actually my third time going to a baseball game: the first in fifth grade where the Mets lost to the Yankees 0 to 1, then came the camp trip when I was thirteen or so (it was the Staten Island Yankees) and I never got to see the game because it rained, and then this event where the Yankees won 6 to 3 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

On my way back to my dorm that night, my sister and I were in a different part of the train than I normally ride in.  So when I got up stairs, I was slightly disoriented.  I knew which intersection I was at, I just wasn’t certain of my direction: so which way was east, west, etc.  As I pulled out my phone to check maps, the kind lady who’d helped me find the turnstile when I was in the train station, offered me further assistance by orienting me.  The kind lady, who I later came to learn was Margaret, and her son, Roman even went so far as to walk with me the entire way to my dorm.  I was going to take the crosstown bus (because though it was a rather nice night, I was feeling lazy) but she told me that they were headed in that direction anyway.  So after a brief bout of indecision (that’s one of my personality traits) I agreed and we set off.

On the walk-which involved crossing four avenues (for my readers who have never been to New York, an avenue block is the equivalent of anywhere from one and a half to two and a half regular city blocks)-the three of us talked about all manner of things with school and books being two of our main subjects.  Nine-year-old Roman is an avid reader (a trait I hope you never lose) and Margaret as well, so we traded names of authors and books we liked.

I think one of my favorite moments was when I asked Roman if he’d read the Percy Jackson series and he said “yeah, I read that a long time ago” (or something to that affect).  I definitely had an older person moment because I thought something along the lines of “really dude? How long ago could it have been? My long ago was about four years ago when I was fifteen, and you were probably just past toddlerhood.” Of course this was thought good naturedly.  I think I then went on to think something along the lines of: “kids” and how different time is depending on your age.  Then I reminded myself that I wasn’t even that old, only nineteen.  And I laughed at myself and resumed our discussion.

Once we’d reached the point at which we were to part ways, Margaret offered to just walk me all the way home.  It only put them about two blocks out of their way, but it was still an extremely nice gesture.  And then, upon arriving at my dorm Margaret realized that this was the location where she and Roman came to swim weekly (the school rents the pool and gym to outsiders).  And that was an exciting coincidence.

As they walked me to the front doors, she also commented on the beauty of the tulips that were blooming outside of the building.  I made a point of stopping and checking them out in the daylight the next morning, and they are quite lovely.  So thank you for mentioning them, because it might have been a while before someone else pointed them out to me.

Upon entering my room after leaving them, I called my sister to let her know that I’d arrived and about the pleasant strangers I’d met and promoted myself to (by telling them about the blog).  I then talked to one of my friends, who I also regaled with the story of my walk with the strangers.

“They walked me all the way home,” I told.  “And we spent the entire walk talking but it was neither awkward or frustrating.”

“Oh that’s good,” she responded.  “I was actually going to ask if they were annoying.”

And I’m delighted to report that you were not.  There are so many people who offer assistance to me and, when I take it, talk incessantly about things I either don’t care about or don’t have that much to say about.  I realize that that may sound unkind, but generally, when I accept assistance from people it’s because they were being pushy and I did not want to argue.  How I feel about the chatter is also dependent on my mood.  As I told Margaret, I don’t care that your best friend’s boyfriend’s cousin’s ex-wife is, was, or is going blind.  Well, actually sometimes those stories are interesting.  Or if the person is going blind, I can offer up information about resources.  But generally people just throw the information out there with no real purpose.  Usually causing me to respond awkwardly “oh, that’s cool” or “really?”.  And after the person says “yes” or something to that effect as response, it doesn’t lead anywhere.

On Thursday, someone asked if I needed help crossing the street, upon shrugging and saying sure, the guy said “my elbow is here”.  When I looked up in surprise, he was like “my mom’s blind, so I know what to do?.  Then we crossed and parted ways.  That was a cool interaction; it was short, sweet and the relationship to the blind person was relevant.  There are other people that know to offer their arm/elbow because of helping other bl/visually impaired people or maybe from observation or the assumption that offering one’s arm is less strange than holding hands.

But anyway, I went completely off track there (so much for my words at the beginning of the post, right?).

As I arrived at my dorm yesterday, the public safety officer stopped me and told me that Margaret and Roman wished him to give me their regards.  I was very confused initially so he began to hesitate a little:

“Margaret’s the mother,” he said slowly.  And after another second, the lightbulb snapped on.  And I was excited.  As was the security guard (I guess for it not turning into an extremely awkward situation).

He said that Roman had read through all of my blog posts and that he was extremely enthusiastic about it.

Awww.

So I hurried to my room and immediate began writing this post…  and then I laid down, watched Jeopardy!, fell asleep and finished this at 2 AM (with clips on The Tonight Show’s Youtube as my soundtrack).

So I wanted to write this post to let you know that I did receive your regards and that I wished to send my own in return.

Well till next time “Adieu, adieu

To you and you and you?”-Sound of Music