The Encounter

The Encounter

On the day after Thanksgiving Day (aka Black Friday), a priceless moment of kindness observed

They came, as ceaseless tides, drawn by gravitational bargain’s dreams. Cavalcades of shoppers, swift of foot, some deft, most inelegant of hand, rummaging zealously through rafts of smartly-arranged merchandise, in clamorous search for that one especial prize to present to a dear one in a month’s days.

In the wake of each wave, she, quietly, the air around her filled with frantic banter, carefully gathered the garments, now, in disarray; sometimes stooping to retrieve the crumbled clothing from the floor where it had fallen or had been tossed, and so reassembling the display for the next caravan.

All day, ‘twas like this. All barking their demanding dissatisfactions. None offering the merest caring comment.

Then he approached. His need, only one. “Thank you,” his eyes beaming, his lips, a swiftly ascending crescent, “for your help this day. May your holidays be blessed.” His words, measured, to another, might have been as coins into a beggar’s cup, a pittance, but to her, surest treasure.

© 2021 PRA


2 thoughts on “The Encounter

  1. Paul,

    Of course I was left to wonder who the shopper and helper was but realized that wasn’t the point. The point as I see it was that as people rushed and grabbed and pushed and shoved for Black Friday deals no one as part of their encounters greeted other shoppers or acknowledged those waiting on them. A simple thank you goes a very long way, especially on Black Friday when most people lose their minds over a sale item.



  2. Loretta, we had guests at the inn during the Thanksgiving Day holiday. On Friday morning, at breakfast, when we asked, “Are you going to shop today?” one of them replied, “No, I care about my life and the lives of others enough to wait a few days. It’s dangerous to go shopping on Black Friday.” For, as you write and, I believe, truly: “…most people lose their minds over a sale item.”



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