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I Wonder

For convenience, several months ago, I got a PO box. The post office is
a block from where I work, and since I'm given an hour for lunch, it's
very convenient to walk over there to get packages and stuff, and I can
even get there and back during one of my 15-minute breaks too if
necessary.

On one of my trips though, something kind of weird happened, and now
every time I go over to the post office I think about it. Today's walk
was what caused me to write this entry.

To get to the post office, I go out a side door here at the Court House.
It's convenient because it's right outside my office, and the entrance
faces Roberts Street, which is the street that I have to walk along
anyway to get to 2nd Avenue. I cross 2nd Avenue, turn left, and walk
down the sidewalk just a little way until I get to the doors leading
into the post office building. I have a couple of options at this point.
I could use those doors, which would take me into the main part of the
building where there's a security desk. This is where most people would
enter if they wanted to go to one of the other offices in the building.
The main Social Security office is in that building, and I don't even
know what else is there. My other option would be to walk down a little
farther to the second set of doors which would take me directly into the
post office. I use the first set of doors because when I got my box, I
got incredibly lucky with the location because it's in a bank of boxes
just inside the entrance to the post office, and it's easy to find in
that group of boxes. So, that particular door makes it easy to run in
and out quickly.

So, on this particular day, I crossed the street and made my left turn.
A guy basically came from out of nowhere and asked me if I was going to
the post office and offered to get the door for me. There'd been some
recent construction done both on the Court House and this building, and
at one point they had the entire corner blocked off while they did some
reconstructive brickwork. On that occasion someone on the street walked
me around it and made sure that a security guard would help me get
around it on the way back. So, I figured that maybe there was something
blocking my way. So that I'd know for my return trip, I asked this guy
if there was a problem. I wanted to be warned of any possible obstacles.
He said that there wasn't any kind of a problem except that I couldn't
see. The comment itself didn't bother me, other than the fact that it
was just kind of from out in left field. I also appreciated having the
door held for me. I guess what I thought was weird was that the guy was
smoking a cigarette, so I assume he'd been in that general area for a
while so had to have seen me crossing the street, (which, I might add, I
did safely), but the simple act of walking down the sidewalk and opening
a door was, to him, an act of bravery that seemed incomprehensible to
him.

The incident still doesn't bother me. But, I do think about it every
time I turn the corner and head toward the doors to the building, if
only because I wonder what that man's experiences have been with blind
people. Was I the first person he'd ever seen? Had he seen others who
maybe weren't as capable of getting around? Had he run into a blind
person who had rudely refused his help in the past because, for whatever
reason they were too proud or whatever to take offered assistance? I
don't know. Whatever it was though, I hope that I was able to leave him
with a positive impression of what we're capable of.