I was running to catch the N-Judah at Church and Duboce on Thursday morning when, unbeknownst to me, my wallet fell out of the pocket of my sweatshirt. I had made it to the train in the nick of time and was standing on the bottom step panting and waiting for the doors to close when I heard someone yelling nearby. I turned to look at the source of the noise and saw an older Asian gentleman hollering something from just outside the train. One of his arms was outstretched in my direction and it took me a moment to register that he was holding my wallet. I stepped off the train, grabbed it from him, uttered a quick and confused 'thanks' and stepped back onto the train just as the doors closed.
Once the whole thing set in I thought about that random act of kindness for the rest of my commute and throughout most of that day. I had lost my wallet once before, about ten years ago, and although I found it under my dresser a week or so later I remember feeling sick about it. It was almost like a part of me was just out in the world, exposed and unguarded. Back then, and still now, my wallet contains so much of me. In it is my driver's license, a debt card, two personal credit cards, a corporate credit card, insurance cards, a transit pass, a Whole Foods Sandwich & Burrito Club card (almost full) and a handful of fortune cookie fortunes that I've saved over the years, among other things. Had that man, that stranger that I didn't even make eye contact with and will probably never see again, not fished my tiny, homemade wallet off the tracks in front of a train that he wasn't even taking and followed me to make sure I got it back, the whole course of my day, and probably even my week, would have changed.
Although it doesn't seem like enough, I'd like to float one big 'thank you' out into the void and hope that the man who found my wallet and saved my week catches it somehow, because he did a truly kind thing for me and I am grateful.