There was this one time, I was in town for a concert at the Moore. 12 mins from the start time, I was searching for a curbside spot in the busy streets of Seattle, circling the blocks, amidst rush hour and the one ways. My friends say, I have good “parking karma”. It was now 6.59 p.m. and I hadn’t still found a spot. And nope, I wasn’t going to shove my car in a lot as is my wont.

Up until now I’d stuck to the higher streets as my luck is better there, but I finally made my way to the busy 2-way cluster that is 1st Ave. As I approached the intersection of 1st and Lenora, I caught something from the corner of me left eye, there was this man standing on the opposite pavement of Lenora (so diagonally opposite from where I was) waving his hands. I turned to look and it was this homeless guy flailing his hands wildly and seemed to be looking in my direction. Perplexed. I looked around me, was it me? I wondered if my headlights were off? No. Was something broken in my then 13 year old car ( 🙂, which I ultimately drove for 16 years)… Not that I could discern. From his hand movement he was trying to indicate something to me. And all this while the light was Red, so I had the time. He wouldn’t stop. I have to say I was a bit weirded out, but then I noticed something else. There on Lenora, behind a big-ass truck, which was blocking my view, was a vacant spot and he seemed to be pointing me to it. I was a bit skeptical at first, often these spots are vacant for a reason and then that whole left turn would be a wild goose chase and a waste of a few more mins delaying me further. Then the light turned green and I did turn left and slowly pulled up to the spot. It was indeed vacant and did not have any timing restrictions on it either!!

First of all, how did this guy know I was looking for a spot? Amidst all that traffic, its not even liked I’d circled 1st ave multiple times. My then vehicle, an old silver Honda Civic (nothing that stands out really) couldn’t have attracted that much attention. What was it about that moment that he just knew and decided to communicate to some gal at the light? I was overwhelmed. I emptied my pockets of whatever change I had (Had no notes on me that day) and gave it to him. He accepted them (it did not seem to me like he was looking for anything at all). He seemed to have this “knowing” look on his face. Our eyes locked for a bit. And he said “just beautiful”. I was just grateful. I went on to walk toward Moore and enjoy the rest of the evening, but remained stunned by the experience prior to the concert. Parking karma indeed.

And then just the other day, I was returning from a morning run, the last leg of my circuit being a hill. I’d just crossed Mercer and was on 5th, hoping to run another 5 mins or so, but just stopped with a big audible gasp and switched my Garmin off and was thinking to myself just how out of shape I was. A combination of self-chiding and acceptance. There was this homeless guy dragging his belongings in a trolley and walking on the pavement. He saw me stop and said “You coulda gone another 1/2 mile easily there!!” and smiled revealing big gaps in his teeth. I smiled back at him and shook my head and said “Thank you”. He said “Nice job there lady”, very encouragingly.

How much outside their own heads must these men have been to think about someone other than themselves, with no other agenda. And they had every reason to not.