It was a bitter winter night in Detroit and I was exhausted. I had just finished sketching a play at the Attic Theater and was in a cold fog as I stared at a newspaper coin box in Greektown. I was broke, I didn’t even have a coin for a paper.  A disheveled, middle aged and apparently homeless Native-American man approached me and asked for a handout.  I told him that I couldn’t help him. Hell, I couldn’t even buy myself a paper.  He smiled, reached into his pocket and handed me a quarter. He walked off saying, “What goes around comes around.”

I never saw him again.

Years went by and I forgot the man with a quarter.  I had by this time grown accustomed to holing up in my  dimly lit apartment. I would occasionally get out but when I did I carried the cave inside me. I believed the adage that fundamentally we are alone.

One early spring day I decided to go for a jog.  Early spring in Detroit  meant that the weather could be comfortable or freezing.  This day was far colder than I had anticipated and a short ways into my run around Palmer Park I realized I wasn’t prepared.  My hands were like ice but once one started jogging it was bad form to turn back.

I was about a mile away from finishing when  a van pulled up in front of me and a rather large  and intimidating African-American man got out.  He waved to me.  Damn, he was motioning for me to come over.  I was sure he had something to sell and I thought the best thing to  do would be to wave stupidly and run on by.  For some reason I didn’t do that.  I stopped running and walked towards him.

He was smiling.  He said, ” It’s too cold to be running dressed as you are.”  He reached into the back of his van, pulled out a pair of gloves and gave them to me.

Its hard to stay cynical when strangers keep pestering me with kindness.