It was a tight squeeze between the taco shells and salted or unsalted butter on sale for all the December cookie bakers but the large and handsomely dressed young man maneuvered his grocery cart without noticing how dangerously close he had come to my left foot. His voice was louder than the store's speakers and in a childish voice he sang, "all I want for Christmas are my two front teeth, my two front teeth." I chuckled that I should be singing all I want for Christmas is my big fat toe, my big fat toe and mentally classified him as someone who was mentally slow. No sooner than the thought came to me, remorse weighed my heart down with such a force.
"Minister to him," I heard. Oh no, not here at the grocery store! "Yes, do it, you must speak with him, he needs a smile." It's a Friday afternoon and the place is crowded I told this voice that overcame my body. "There is an understanding you will gain from him, here's your chance."
I turned around and noticed he had also turned his cart around. In perfect synchronicity, we both went into the same aisle. He was startled when I leaned into him and whispered, "I bet there's more that you want for Christmas besides your two front teeth." I prayed he didn't think I was flirting.
The blue in his eyes were such a pretty contrast to his long black coat. I always find it interesting how preconceived perceptions change when I'm face to face with another person, fully engaged. He felt broken and told me about a near fatal car wreck when he was sixteen. It damaged his knees and the surgeon who replaced them didn't do the surgery correctly because of outdated materials. There were two metal rods in both of his hips and the cold weather made them ache more. He wasn't having much luck finding a doctor who could help him and he didn't have health insurance. The pain was unbearable but he didn't want his wife and kids to know or worry so he said he sings.
"I'm not young anymore, I'm thirty four!" he said. Oh how I thanked my pain free body and wished him good luck on his journey.
"Thank you for talking with me. Now you know why I always sing that song. Two front teeth for Christmas! Dang, that's nothing."
On that last sentence, we both sang the song and he went one direction, I went the other. There wasn't any music playing and it didn't bother me when a customer looked at me oddly. I now had a song in my heart and it was contagious!