My drop, measured by inches, was short. I had fallen only about eighteen inches, so that was good. The bad was that I was sitting on the wet pavement of the parking lot of my building as heavy drops of rain pelted everything in the dark, late night. I could not see my wheelchair because my sloppy transfer, instead of landing me in the seat, had pushed it backwards and it now rested somewhere behind me. The heavy, thick rain continued to drop in a steady rhythm as I tried to think of a plan: Tired from a long day and too much alcohol, I sat on the wet pavement that now carried a steady flow of water, drop after drop of rain adding to my self-imposed misery. I tried to push the muddle from my brain and think of a way to regain my position in the driver’s seat, but all I managed was to become more soaked from my head to my legs.
It was then that I saw him crossing the street. He approached me but no drop of rain touched him or his gleaming white shirt. He grew closer, and I noticed the contrast of his dark, brown hands with the bright, white cuffs of his shirt. It was then that I remembered him from Douglas Airport in Charlotte and how he had pushed me and my heavy bag up a carpeted ramp when I was having trouble navigating in a crowd. Now walking past me in the dark lot, he retrieved my wheelchair and placed it behind me. Those same brown hands now lifted me onto my soaked wheelchair seat. As I was putting my feet on the footrest of my wheelchair, I heard him say in the same voice from Charlotte, “You should take better care of yourself.” Then he was gone like a fallen drop of rain.
In Charlotte my heavy bag was about to drop from my lap as I tried to navigate a carpeted ramp in a rushing push of travelers. In the wet parking lot, my drop was again due to my excess and poor planning: Too much stuff in a too big bag, too much work, too much alcohol. But he came. Twice he rescued me from self-imposed trouble.
He has not appeared since. Perhaps because I have heeded his words to take better care of myself or whatever, I have not seen him, but I know he is present, ready to save me from my next drop.