Sure. You’ve heard of Superman and Batman and Aquaman. But my personal hero is Garbageman.
It went down like this:
I was three years old, playing in the upstairs of our house. This house no longer exists – it is now a parking lot – but it still exists in my mind, and I remember this upstairs bedroom where a window overlooked a small store next to our house. I liked to look out this window at the people getting in and out of their cars, unaware of my presence. It was interesting.
Then, one day, I heard a loud noise out that window and I looked to see a garbage truck loading the refuse from the store's dumpster. Now THAT was interesting! But it was a little hard to see from that angle, so I pushed against the screen that had been put in the window. It popped out and fell to the ground, and that screen had been holding up the window, which promptly fell down on my shoulders, completely pinning me in place. I could not get out. And my line of sight made me feel like I was going to fall.
I was terrified.
So I began to scream like a terrified three year old. Makes sense, right? And I remember Garbageman looking up at me, jumping slightly as he realized what was going on. I imagine he thought I was going to fall from the window, so he ran to the front door of our house and ran with my mom up the stairs and rescued me from the hungry mouth of the foul window. He lifted the window so mom could pull me out.
Garbageman had very dark african skin. He was massively tall and bony, his head seemed to hover near the ceiling, and he had a deep voice, like a great blues singer. He brushed me off and my mom gave me a hug. Then he said one of the nicest things that’s ever been said about me. Garbageman said, “That’s the nearest thing to an angel I will ever see.”
Garbageman went to the store and bought me an ice cream. He came back to the house and gave it to me, patting me on the head and smiling at me. He was nothing but kindness. And I remember going out of my way to wave to Garbageman whenever he would show up for the dumpster at the store. He always smiled and waved. We had a connection.
Here’s what I think: I think he was the angel.
Peace to you.
© LW Publishing 2010