Unlike R who does things, or agrees to things or helps someone and then later regrets it and whinges and moans, I do not. He is such a nice person and would do anything for anyone. I seldom do anything for anyone, so if I do, I do it with good grace, and whatever the result, it was my decision, so I have only myself to blame if it goes wrong.
That sounds a bit extreme when written and perhaps not entirely acurate, but there are certainly grains of truth.
'Please help me', she asked in a heavy accent.
She was a very old heavily made up Chinese woman. While I often feel like kneecapping old people with their walking sticks, I must have been a good mood that day. Obviously not a working day then.
She was not terribly steady on her legs, so I fulfilled her request to go across the road and buy the Chinese newspaper for her. She carefully examined the change I returned with in case I had stolen five cents and gave me a brief nod. No effusive thanks, no smile. It was her right to ask and she would have been surprised if I refused.
I am now thinking of the fuss and drama had the request come from an old Anglo Saxon Australian. All the buttering up talk before hand, the over the top gratitude afterwards. The imagined conversation later with family about how wonderfully kind gay guys can be. (it was in Commercial Rd)
Some time later I saw the same woman on a tram. An Asian girl was getting off at the same stop as this woman. The lady pointed to her shopping jeep and the girl lifted off the tram for her. The girl only got a half nod, whereas I got a full but brief nod. I did better.
Yep, I will do a lot for folk like that old Chinese woman.
I have fogotten about all the old people I may have helped that probably involved lots of conversation and effort on my part, but for some reason, this simple and uncomplicated request has stuck in my mind.