Standing in Line

I had a great workout this morning. Mostly trying to get rid of my stiff neck. The real one not the figurative one. (Although, I have been known to have both).

Since we live in the middle of nowhere, if I go to town for one thing (like a gym workout), I do at least two other things. It is a fuel management program that one learns when the closest gas station runs at at least a dollar and a half more than the expensive stations in town. You pay for your errors in judgement!

Anyway, I stopped at the grocery store for some salad stuff and some fruit. Just a couple of things that we enjoy.

I got into a line after I had discovered that the open registers each had lines that were at least 3 deep. I picked the line because it had one person at the check-out and one putting his groceries on the conveyor belt. Shortest line. Fine.

I pulled in behind the man and began to regret my choice. A woman had pulled in behind me and verbally expressed her frustration at the man ahead of us. His cart was full and he was slowly emptying it one item at a time. My regret turned to resolve the minute the woman huffed away.

He was older. (even than me). And his movements were slow and shaky. His hands trembled and he was concentrating very hard and placing his items with care. He looked up at me and said, “I am sorry.”

I told him it was not a problem. I was in no hurry. And then, don’t ask me why, but I asked him if he needed any help.

At first he declined. But about half way through the unloading process, he stopped. I said, “If you like, I can help.”

“I try but the Parkinson’s makes me so slow and so tired.”

No problem.

“Go ahead to the check out,” I said.

He walked forward and I empty his basket.

He turned to me and said, “Do you like magic?”


And he proceeded to do a magic trick with a couple of dollar bills. It was well done despite the shaky hands.

He talked of his Parkinson’s. He commented that his days were a bit of a struggle but that there were others that were in more difficulty than him. He was grateful to be alive. 

He was a retired LA Detective. He had been shot in the line of duty. A couple of times, he said.

I told him that I had been a defense attorney.

I thanked him for his service. He thanked me for mine.

His name was Ken.

He made my day.

Categories: Age, UncategorizedTags: , ,


  1. Well done you for taking the time to get to know this man and enable him to accept your help. You can tell that other woman – ‘That didn’t hurt, did it?’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had other thoughts for her. But her day might not have been going as well as mine had. Glad I kept my mouth shut on that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely story, Gael. I expect you made his day too.

    Liked by 1 person

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