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A party of mixed nuts 0

Dear Bradshaw,

As you know, Thanksgiving was last Thursday. Of course, it’s not an Italian holiday but my ex-roommate’s girlfriend is American and we celebrated at her place. Altogether there were three Americans, two Italians, two Canadians, an Australian, and a Scot, i.e. a party of mixed nuts.

Francesca and I knew we’d be drinking so we took the metro there. Also, at dinner we ate much more than we’re used to. As a consequence, we dozed off on the way home (about a twenty-minute ride). Miraculously, I woke up just as the doors opened at our stop. I leaped up, pulled Francesca to her feet, and together we hurried off the metro. While walking away, I heard someone yell and turned to see a man waving our umbrella from inside the train. In our haste to exit, we had left it on the seat. I returned for it, but the train doors slammed shut, clamping the man’s arm in between.

As the train pulled away with his arm stuck between the doors, the man rocked the umbrella back and forth and then tossed it on the ground. I leaned down to pick it up with one hand and waved thanks with the other as the train disappeared and the man struggled to free his arm.

As you can imagine, the scene was absurd, but what I’m wondering is this: Was that guy a humanitarian, someone hoping to do a good deed for the sake of his fellow man? Or, seeing us suddenly jump to our feet and run off in a panic, did he think the umbrella was a bomb and want to get it off the train as quickly as possible?

I believe he was a humanitarian, Shaw, and his thirst for philanthropy has rekindled my faith in our species. In other words, that guy, whoever he was, is my hero. He should have a capital ‘S’ silk-screened to the chest of his shirt. Thanks to his charity and goodwill, not only do we not have to buy a new umbrella but we also didn’t get wet. It was raining when we got off the metro, Shaw, and we’d have been drenched by the time we got back to our apartment.

Why aren’t there more people in the world like him? Why must the instinct toward greed and violence so often prevail? How easy it is to hate while condemning another’s hatred. How simple to desire while berating the cravings of a stranger. Hypocrisy is effortless, and often ends when you open your eyes and look in the mirror.

On another note, I got my blood test results back. My cholesterol is down from 317 to 211, and in only three months. Imagine that. Apparently, with that guy rescuing our umbrella and my cholesterol returning to normal so quickly, miracles can happen. But what I’m still wondering is this: do you think that guy got his arm out before . . . Well, let’s just hope he did, right?

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