*I wrote this after an interaction I had with someone when I was working at a grocery store*
“Can I see your ID?” I asked the man who was in my line.
I’ve seen this man many times. He is a man of very little words.
I smile, he frowns.
I say, “Hi,” he ignores.
I ask him questions, he’s silent.
I took a good look at him today and noticed he had some holes in his worn jacket, he hadn’t shaved for quite some time. His eyes showed pain and loneliness. I was perplexed by this man who walks in my line every day, buying alcohol. As friendly as I am to him, the more quiet he seems.
I considered him rude and unfriendly.
I cleared my throat. “I’m sorry, but may I see your ID?” I repeated.
He then looks at me, and points to the ID he had laid on the conveyer belt.
That’s when it dawned on me.
The man is deaf.
I smiled at him and said, “Thanks,” as I grabbed his ID and quickly put in his birthdate. I looked back at him and handed him the ID and gave him his purchases. He then signed to me, “Thank you,” and I did the normal sign for “thank you” in response to him, which means “You’re welcome.”
He walked away, leaving his change and receipt behind.
I grabbed both items and chased after him and waved to get his attention. As he turned around, I signed to him, “Do you want your receipt and money?” as I smiled at him.
His demeanor changed. His eyes got big, became excited, and signed “no” as he turned around to head out the door.
As I went back to my cash register, I looked up and he was standing in the door, looking at me. All of a sudden, he breaks in a huge smile and does this large wave to say goodbye to me. With that, he leaves, gets on his bike, and rides away.
Sometimes, someone just needs to know that they’re loved. It is the little things that matter.
Make someone’s day, regardless of your misconceptions. Be someone’s else’s light in their darkness.