An Open Letter To:

The woman who picked me up and gave me a ride this morning.

First off, thank you.

You didn’t know me, and I didn’t know you. Yet you stopped, rolled down your window (or whatever the verb is for power windows) and generously offered up your passenger seat.

It was at the crazy spot where Rte. 141 and Memorial and the entrance to the Bronx River Parkway all meet. I opted to walk because the forecast called for rain all day, and I have my annual black tie Waldorf wingding this eve, joining the seasonal March of the Penguins, and didn’t fancy riding the bike tonight in a rented tux.

I left late. I was half jogging. You saw this and selflessly offered a hand.

You said you never pick up strange men. I assured you I was not crazy. These are sensitive times; you almost can’t even joke about that stuff, at least right now.

We turned right onto 141. We joked about me being late for the late train, and how I got my workout in already. Seconds later, we caught the light at Cross Street and Broadway. (Isn’t it lame that, six years after moving up here, I still have to check Google Maps to make sure I have the street names correct?)

I did the math in my head: Jump out at the light, and walk the final few hundred yards along Broadway, past the old church and the boneyard, to the back entrance of the station. I suggested this.

It was a bit awkward. After all, you, kind neighbor, made the decision, and potentially a risky one, to offer me a ride. To do me a favor. To put my needs–making the 8:40–ahead of your own well being. You wanted to know that what you were doing was meaningful for me–saved me a tongue lashing from the boss, that sort of thing.

But here I was, jumping out 30 seconds after jumping in, like a guest, invited for dinner, leaving after the bowl of nuts and crudite are put out.

I did appreciate the ride, Woman Who Picked Me Up This Morning. Even more than the ride, which may have been the difference between making and missing my train, and certainly was the difference between me sprinting and me jogging, I appreciate your gesture. Your effort to be a good neighbor, to promote unity, when it is sorely needed–I dug that. So thank you.



PS: Sorry about getting mud on your floor mat.

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