The message on the wall is partially obscured by the spring bloom.
A somewhat delicate appearing and hesitant young man sat next to me yesterday on a MUNI bus. He had objects in his left hand. He took one in the very thin fingers of his right hand and said something I could not hear. He held a brilliant blue bead and repeated so very softly, “bead”.
Stupidly, I said no. I did not ask him about them or even acknowledge that he was offering me a gift. When a seat opened near the front of the bus, he moved there. Silently talking to himself and playing with the beads in his hand.
He looked sad. I had failed to respond to a gift. I was instantly sad and remain sad about it today. Why I did not respond to another human's gesture is beyond comprehension. I did not even offer curiosity or a thank you. A painful experience, perhaps, for both of us.