Mondays are not easy for me. For some, Mondays are a new start — kids go back to school, the counter is wiped clean, there is space and time.
For others, Mondays are perhaps like mine. They are a reminder of my disparate existence, a reminder that even as I cocoon myself in a home with warmth and white lights there is a world out there that can’t be ignored. A world where I smell pot at 6:45 in the morning as I come out of the subway. A world where Mary warns me yet again to “Be careful up there!” A world where I can smell the alcohol from 10 feet away on the breath of someone I regularly communicate with.
And that’s how this Monday began. Except for an apple. A bright, red, beautiful apple.
A man who couldn’t have been older than 25 dressed in business clothes was seated next to a woman who had all her household goods in a shopping cart. Only her face and eyes peeked out from a coat that was too big for her. The man was white and the woman was black. The contrast between privilege and poverty was stark. And then he reached into his bag and brought out an apple and he gave it to her. There was no drama. I was the only one sitting across from them and I doubt anyone saw the act except me. As they made eye contact, she smiled her gratitude through dark brown eyes and they exchanged greetings. A conversation started that was over almost as soon as it began – but at least it started.
It was so small but it felt so big.
I know there are those who would be cynical about this. A young, white man with everything takes pity on a black woman with nothing. But it didn’t feel like that. It seemed redemptive for both, certainly for me.
Much is written on privilege and recognizing privilege. In this, the act of giving an apple, it felt like a young man who knows his own privilege wanted to reach over that division into the life of someone who would be easy to ignore, easy to dismiss. It seemed thoughtful and without guile.
So an apple and a Monday help me to reach across the Sunday – Monday division believing that redemption happens in small ways all around me.
Stacy’s recipe this Monday combines my all-time favorite liqueur with one of my all-time favorite foods. This combo is called Stacy’s Bailey’s Irish Cream Muffins. (Actually, I added the ‘Stacy’s’ to the title.) I cannot wait to try these! May the Irish among us rejoice!