In Which Zombie Joe Has His Faith In The World Restored

Short post here. Well, in comparison. Which is why I am preempting it between sections of my Authors After Dark recap. There have been a handful of scenarios in the past couple weeks that have both destroyed and restored my faith in humanity. If pressed to place a number on it, a stat, I would say my total faith in the world is in the black. These three instances are what did it for me this week.

It’s a Great Day for America

On September 11th of this year Craig Ferguson opened his show with a simple stance of “we won’t forget, we can never forget.” He went on to say that was all that needed to be said and the show would continue with hopefully some humor, but he would not open the monologue the same was he always does with, “it’s a great day for America.”

As you can tell by the title line of my blog, I am a fan of the show. Even if I wasn’t, the idea of that opening not being there is a powerful statement. A simple one. And gives just the right amount of “remember” to the “day of remembering.” It falls in line with Rule #32 – enjoy the little things. Or in this case, it’s the little things that matter the most.

A Simple Thing

If you follow me on Twitter, you likely know my love for the coffee shop here called The Victory. Sure some of my right leaning friends may refer to the people there as “leaning so far to the left they walk in circles,” but the same could be said for the right in current control of their party. At the same time, I feel like this is the place I belong. To the extent that every November I travel out to different coffee venues for write ins during NaNoWriMo, but this coming month I will do my early morning writing at the Victory. Same as I always do. But I digress.

There is an older guy that comes in now and again. In my mind he looks like Stan Lee if he grew a Gallagher like mullet and wore big bulky white headphones. Every week or so he stops in with a buck or two and gets a cup of coffee. He sits at the counter and strikes up a conversation with anyone willing to talk. I am usually working, so sit at the tables and listen if I don’t have headphones on, or at least I don’t talk much. I took him for an older guy on a fixed income. Which may be the case, I don’t know.

Another occasional regular came in and sat next to him at the counter. This guy is originally from Canada but is definitely Asian. The stories I hear is that he is a muy thai trainer that moved to Wisconsin from Canada to train fighters. I haven’t talked to him myself, so I don’t know what gym he works out of. He sat and had his coffee and talked with the older guy for a while. Getting up to leave, he pays the owner and walks back to the counter and puts his hand out for the older guy. I’m blanking on the exact words he gave, but the basic intent was, “for lunch.” and handed him some money.

The older guy never asked for it. I’ve seen how that works. I never even took him for someone low enough on money they had to regularly skip a meal. I don’t know all of what transpired in their conversation, but I get the feeling the trainer simply picked up on the guy spent his last dollar on coffee and did a kind gesture to a regular face around the neighborhood.

A Coffee And A Smile

The Victory is well known (among the neighborhood people) as a place that deals in cash. They don’t take credit cards or debit cards. The quote I have heard from Patrick (the owner) before is, “It’s not that we don’t believe in credit, we just don’t believe you should pay for it.” If push comes to shove, especially if you’re in the neighborhood, he will tell you to pay next time. And then trusts you will tell him what you owe next time.

This morning a woman comes in. I’ve not seen her there before. That doesn’t mean anything though. More telling was she asked, “Do you take debit cards?” Patrick looks at his (non-existent) watch and says, “You’re my one millionth customer. Since we don’t take credits cards, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee.” So with a smile, he fills up her coffee mug drops some cream in it and tells her to have a nice day. Turning with a smile she says, “Well this is a wonderful start to it. Thank you.”

In Summary

Good people exist. Once we get past November and the mud slinging of “Looney Lefties” and “Tea-baggers” the fact is that these good people will still exist. At a local level. In your community. Take what you will about what you think I mean by that. Assume what you will about my intent or my politics, but the fact of the matter is that these three people made me think there’s a chance everything might just be all right in the world still.


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