Saturday, February 21, 2009

haymarket karma

im a pretty terrible person when it comes to judging people - i usually assume the worst when i look at a random person out in the street, especially in a place such as boston where the weather, traffic, and local behavior pretty much keep people on edge.

i went to haymarket today to get vegetables. i've already accepted that haymarket is about cheap prices, not customer friendliness. i like to put on a pair of earphones and walkthrough the street ignoring everyone, and making quick transactions without dealing with the sellers for too long. i used to try to bargain, but what difference does getting five apples instead of four get you? a savings of five cents per apple, which isn't worth the argument.

on the way back, i tried to catch the haymarket station green line train, and while going through the turnstiles a few quarters fell out of my wallet. i was already through so i turned to see if they were accessible - they weren't really, and the lady behind me picked them up. i waited a sec to see if she would hand them to me but she put her hands into her pocket, so i assumed she was claiming them for herself and i just turned and walked away. a few random thoughts passed through my head that second. "it's only fifty cents, no big deal." "i could have gotten so many veggies with that." "i can't believe that lady was going to keep the money." "i'm going to walk in such a thug way that she'll feel intimidated." "it might not have been my money, let me check my wallet." "don't take out the wallet, pretend it's no big deal." "it's only fifty cents."

i think out of the corner of my eye i saw her walking toward me and i sat down at a nearby bench instead of the one all the way down the train station. then she extended her hand and i looked up, and instead of the face i had pictured (one of petty greed) it was a kind, smiling old black lady who had also come from haymarket, and she handed me my two quarters. i said in a fake surprised voice, "oh those were mine? thank you!" even though i had gone through like ten different situations dealing with those two quarters in my head. and suddenly i felt really bad because i had projected what i might (or might not) have done if someone in front of me had dropped some change, or at least what i thought the majority of people would do.

maybe i'm an idiot for thinking people are as petty as me. but i feel like it's my duty to continue passing on this good karma, even though it was just a measly two quarters, it's the fact that people will do the right thing that i'll try to follow.

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