Ever felt useless?

This morning I woke up with a thought ringing in my head…and it wouldn’t stop clanging.

All I heard as I was showering and shaving and dressing was the sound of a voice saying, “You’ve lost y our usefulness.  You’re too old. Why don’t you get out of the business while you can.”

Crazy! Really crazy because I love what I do and the idea of just giving it up and whiling away my time is to me truly nuts.

But the voice wouldn’t shut up and the thought wouldn’t stop revolving around like a monotonous and annoying carousel.

As I was getting ready to leave for the day I stopped at my car to see how its trunk was doing since I had painted it just the night before. As I was checking to see if it was dry, I kept hearing the voice in my head muttering away…”So what are you going to do since you’re no longer useful.”  I couldn’t stand it anymore. I finally closed my eyes and thought to myself and whoever else might be out there in the cosmos listening…”OK, enough. Stop!”

Just a few seconds later I heard a man’s voice calling out…”Excuse me!  Excuse me!”  I turned and shuffling towards me was an elderly fellow who lives in the same condo complex I do.  I had noticed him around the grounds before but didn’t know him or exactly where he resided. I had heard from my neighbors that he was a curmudgeon and griper but since I had never spoken to him I wasn’t going to jump to judgment. The one thing I did notice was that he was walking/shuffling very, very slowly and I thought to myself it’s going to take him a long time to get to wherever he’s intending to go. (In all honesty if I had to shuffle/walk at that pace I’d be pretty cranky myself.)

He stopped about 10 yards from me and asked, “Could you give me a lift to the store up on the corner? I’d like to get the newspapers.”

My first reaction was to say to myself “just what I need.” But I looked at him standing there and said, “Sure, hop in.”  And he did…well not exactly “hop” but he did manage to get into the car. As we drove the short way to the corner store I introduced myself and he did the same.  I recognized his name, and I won’t go into details here so I can protect his anonymity, but that began a conversation about a topic I was familiar with and on which he is expert.

After he bought his daily newspapers I drove him back to his home (now I know exactly where he lives) and dropped him off.  He thanked me, hoisted his way out of my car, and as I drove away he shuffled/walked back to his condo unit carrying his daily newspapers.

The whole incident took only a few minutes and as I parked my car back in front of my condo I thought to myself, “Well, I guess you’re not so useless after all.”

True story.











About nhbrownlee

Advertising copywriter, Creative Director and state of New York college professor. I love true stories. Who doesn't?
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