This morning, at the end of my run, I passed by a fruit vendor who was starting to set out his stuff for the day. He had the usual array, and was arranging apples in an orderly fashion. They looked like kids being corralled in the school yard. And in keeping with the attitude of kids, one of the apples decided to rebel and escaped onto Fifth Avenue by the curb.
Once apart from the others, though, it didn’t look or act so tough. Indeed, it looked lonely and forlorn. Panic-stricken. The vendor peered over the fence/partition separating him and the sidewalk from the apple and the street, and, realizing he wouldn’t be able to reach the apple, waved his hand at it in dismissal. But it was clear he still wanted the apple to join the rest of the class.
I was already past them at this point, and just about to turn the corner toward my building. That apple’s going to be sauce! I thought. I couldn’t let that happen, and I knew I would be thinking about it all day if I didn’t do something. I couldn’t go about my day knowing I’d done nothing to rescue it.
I turned around and ran back, entered Fifth Avenue at a crosswalk, ran down the street, picked up the apple, and handed it to the vendor over the railing. He smiled and thanked me, and I smiled and told him he was welcome.
He had an accent and appeared to be Middle Eastern, so as I handed him the apple, which was, yes, a big one, I felt like I was handing him some sort of symbolic torch, welcoming him to New York City, or forging bonds that Peace Talks just haven’t managed to seal. (And no, none of my thoughts turned to Adam and Eve and that whole apple business.)
See, Big World Leaders? I thought. This is the way it works. This is the way it should be!
And just as I was thinking this, I was struck by a taxi driven by a man of Middle Eastern descent, and he zoomed down Fifth Avenue without so much as stopping! My pelvis is crushed in six places, but the good news is, I saved an apple!