john carlos

It has been quite an interesting week here in NYC. I’ve been reading a lot of articles and tweets about the destruction, the hardship, and the dedication that has enveloped Hurricane Sandy’s path. Many people also wrote some cool blog posts on their thoughts about the nycm’s continuation, but rather than talk about my opinion, I’ll just gladly accept it’s still on, and get excited/prepared for Sunday.

Where I am in Brooklyn was pretty much spared, minus a few fallen trees and some power outages. I feel pretty damn lucky. (If anyone is still without power or water in Manhattan, you can take the east river ferry over here and stay with me!)

But to take a break from #Sandy, I wanted to write about a small act of kindness that happened to me this morning. After a 4-mile run, I went straight to a bodega around the corner from my haus to grab an egg sandwich and coffee. While waiting for my order, a man started talking to me.

“Aren’t you freezing? You’re wearing shorts.”

“I just went running. You warm up fast.”

“Wow, talk about dedication.”

“Haha, well I’m running the marathon this weekend, so need to get some final miles in…”

“For 19 years, I couldn’t even walk.”

For the next few minutes, the man told me his heartbreaking story of getting in an accident, being confined to a wheelchair, and then finally getting access to American doctors who were able to treat his condition and get him back on his feet. He started strength training in PT, and now is just happy he can walk again. I also learned that he hates New York City, wants to move to Miami, and his favorite color is orange.

When my sandwich and coffee was ready, I went up to the counter and paid for it. ($3, whaddup #Brooklyn!) I turned to him again to say goodbye, that it was nice chatting, happy he can walk, etc, and he waved a $10 bill in front of me. “Give her back the $3!” he told the cashier. I stood there sort of confused, as he handed the $10 to the cashier, paid for an orange juice, and apparently my breakfast.

I didn’t want to take the money back, but I also didn’t want to disrespect him. Also… it was three bucks.

“Darling, you can use that $3 way more than I can.”

(Do I look that poor?!) “That was too kind of you. Thank you. What’s your name?”

“John Carlos. By the way, I made that whole story up.”


“I just wanted to talk to somebody.”

About Laura

marketing director at Possible. formerly at Greatist. Still running, finding zen, and searching for the perfect bloody mary.

Posted on November 1, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Hahahah freaking New Yorkers. Gotta love em’.

  2. My google search says that John Carlos was a corner pro FB player and track star. Same guy????

  3. *former not “corner”

  4. I’m really glad you’re okay 🙂

  5. Glad you’re safe! I wonder if his name was really John Carlos?

  6. I like stories like this – a reminder, in the midst of all the negativity, that there are kind people out there. Also, I’m glad you’re okay post-Sandy.

  7. wait… lol… wut just happened there. breakfast paid, that’s what.

  8. WOW!! That made me laugh out loud when he said he made that whole story up. That IS a story!

  9. Ok, lol 😉 Interesting morning! Never expected that ending to the story… Odd someone would make up something about not being able to walk!!! Glad you got breakfast though and are ok!

  10. i was feeling all sweet and happy till i got to the last line. HUH?? that is bizarre. and kinda sad that he just wanted to talk to somebody…. so glad you are okay! xo

  11. “Do I look that poor?” HAHAHAHA. I DIE.

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