BOOKS BY PATTI LISZKAY
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
and the sequel, "Hail Mary" https://www.amzn.com/1684334888
Available on Amazon.
IT HAPPENED AT SUBWAY
I guess it would be more accurate to say that I had a case, not of the blues, but of the blahs, which seemed to be compounding daily along with the growing accumulation of dust, mess, and botheration.
By last Thursday Tom and I were four days into the morass of the remodeling project and feeling like we'd been in it for four months or years.
As I'd done on the three previous days, I headed out at lunchtime to Subway to pick up some sandwiches.
In any case, I went to Subway, stood in line with my fellow customers, ordered my sandwiches, advanced to the check-out counter, inserted my credit card into the scanner, and added a fifteen percent tip.
"One seventy-nine," said the cashier, a girl who looked to be in her early twenties .
My snap internal reaction was, a hundred seventy-nine dollars for two sandwiches? I looked at the cash register to see that the screen showed a total of $1.79.
"Uhhh," I said, looking from screen to cashier to screen to cashier.
"Your lunch is free,*" said the cashier.
"Free?" said I.
"Uh-huh," said the cashier. "The customer before you paid for your lunch."
I peppered the cashier with Who's, What's, When's, Where's, and Why's while I tried to recall what the customer in front me, to whom I had not been paying attention, had looked like: I visualized an Asian man about my age with grey hair and and a goatee wearing a baseball cap, red tee shirt and black gym shorts. I craned my neck to try and see us him somewhere outside through the plate glass window.
"He's gone," said the cashier.
"But I want to at least thank him," I said. This was true, I did want to thank him. It wasn't that I was in need of someone to buy me lunch, not at all, but his treat was an unexpected gift, a surprise that greatly cheered me up, a random act of kindness that made me laugh and brightened my day and blew away the wood and plaster dust that had been clouding my spirit. And for this I wanted to thank the man, whoever he was.
"Don't worry about thanking him," said the sage young cashier. "He wanted to pay it forward. You can thank him by paying it forward for somebody else sometime."
Indeed I intend to.