Time for another Odd Trio prompt: write a post about any topic you want, in whatever form or genre, but make sure it features a slice of cake, a pair of flip-flops, and someone old and wise.
While out walking through Quincey’s Market in Boston, I stopped to sit on the brick benches surrounding a huge tree. Chaos all around me; people everywhere, shopping, looking, eating, nothing but people. However, as I stopped to take it all in, my eyes stopped on a tiny, old fragile man, sitting on a bench opposite from me. As I was thinking about which restaurant I’d like to eat at, I noticed the man eating a slice of cake. I know I should have something nutritious, but the cake looked SO good, and since I’m on vacation, why not?
I got up from my bench and approached thee old man.
“Excuse me.” I said. “I hate to interrupt, but could you tell me which restaurant you got that cake? It looks delicious!”
Not at all bothered by the interruption, he replied in kindness, “I did not purchase it. My wife packed it in my lunch for dessert.”
He must have seen the instant sadness on my face, when he patted the bench, prompting me to join him. I did so, and sat.
He sliced his piece in half, grabbing an extra paper plate from his lunch sack, and another fork. He put the half he sliced onto the plate and handed it to me.
“Oh, you don’t have to share it!” I was shocked! No one these days does such a thing.
“Nonsense. What am I going to do with a piece of cake so big? Enjoy it.”
So, I thanked him, and we sat in silence eating a delicious slice of vanilla cake. Once we were finished, the little old man started asking me questions. Where was I from? Visiting someone or on vacation? I told him, and he just smiled. “You might want to make a quick stop in that store right over there. He pointed to the right. I looked in the direction he was pointing, and saw a shoe store.
Looking back at him puzzled, he laughed and looked down at my feet. I was wearing boots. Big heavy boots. “For a day of walking through Boston, surely your feet must be tired. Flip Flops would be much better for such an outing.”
I thought about it, and decided he was right. Sure my boots are comfortable, but they are awfully heavy. Flip flops are much lighter and plus they’d allow my feet breathing room. I thanked him again for the cake and the advice, and scooted over for a pair of flip flops. It took only a few moments, but I found a pair I liked in my size, made my purchase and headed back to show the old man. When I returned to show him, he was no where to be found. But on the very bench we were sitting, was an empty paper plate. Scribbled on the plate in pencil were the words “Pay it forward.”
Later that day, when our hike through the city was done, we passed back through the market. I noticed a woman in boots, sitting on one of the benches, rubbing the backs of her legs. I took my boots out of my bag, and put them back on my feet. I placed the flip flops in a plastic bag along with a note on the back of receipt simply saying “Pay it forward.” I approached the woman, and handed her the bag. “Here you go. You look like you could use these.”
Unsanitary? Definitely. But did it make someone else’s day a bit brighter? Quite probably. And that’s the message here fellow bloggers… Pay it forward. The more you put out, the more you will receive.