You know… the DMV is an interesting place to park yourself. It really is one of the great equalizers in this world. Everyone who drives–every adult–has to cart him or herself down to the department of motor vehicles at one time or another. It’d be a fascinating place to work (for a week of research!).
So there I was, camped out at the DMV, waiting for paperwork to be approved. The concrete bench was in the shade, so I sat next to a fellow also doing a bit of waiting. It’s amazing what you can learn about someone in just a matter of minutes.
Seven kids, three grandkids, works for the state on a road crew, grew up in the San Fernando Valley, likes rhythm and blues, has to wait until he’s 70 to retire–twelve more years, he said. He sat there, chatting, with his ipod perched on his shoulder, next to his ear. He hummed in between our intermittent conversations, so happy that he wasn’t doing asphalt in Palm Springs where it’s currently 116 degrees, all the while listening to his Jill Scott Pandora station.
And so I gave him that extra loaf of bread I happened to have lugged downtown. A still warm loaf of French bread that I’d baked earlier that day.
I especially like these moments of giving–when someone just crosses your path and the bread is there–a gift–helping to strengthen a small connection between one person and another. I never did get his name, but just the sharing of our worlds on a concrete bench at the DMV adds more good to the air, more beauty than may have been there before. I pray so, anyway…
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My chef instructor at college can often be heard saying, “a day without bread is like a day without sunshine!” You’re obviously his kind of people…