The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Christmas Homework

Today’s post is a reprise of one of the most popular stories this year. If you are enjoying the blog, do consider sharing it with friends and family members. It may be a good fit for anyone whose New Year’s resolution will run along the lines of “Be more positive!”–or anyone who should have such a pledge. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, cynicism can be like junk food: easy to acquire, briefly delightful, then regrettable. Yet, highlighting the nice things–this is much more nourishing. Better for our gratitude, contentment, and curiosity.

Also coming in 2012, I’ll be asking for stories about the Nice Things you’ve noticed about the Strangers around you. So take notes!

Thanks for the support and happy Nice Thing hunting–



The Guy In The Sunglasses

He was his sunglasses.  He could see perfectly well, but these were as much a part of his outfit as his long black ponytail. Reasonably, he wore the sunglasses while his children monopolized the swimming pool. Then he wore them in the lobby while reading the newspaper and chain-smoking.  He wore them in the morning as he cut in front of other people waiting for tea and drained the last drops without compassion. He wore them in the dinner buffet line as he pointed to the fish he wanted and the chicken he did not.

However, upon checking out, he thoughtlessly propped his shades on the top of his head. As he crossed the hotel hallway, his eyes showed. This didn’t mean he looked around while dragging his huge suitcase down the narrow passage, without yielding to anyone, thus forcing the other guests to flatten themselves against the walls.

But it did mean that one could see his eyes when he tripped down the set of stairs that led to the lobby. It meant the brothers and sisters tiring of ping-pong and the women waiting for their husbands, and the employees with nothing to do could see him completely.

He stretched forward, lunged, trying to find the ground beneath him. When he caught his balance and was no longer in danger of falling, his eyes flashed and he became the little boy without many friends. He looked like any kid without a place to sit in the lunchroom. Maybe even the British woman whose toes were casualties of his suitcase would reconsider her curses if she saw him there, jerking his sunglasses over his flushed face as he marched for the exit.

-Ölüdeniz, Turkey.

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This entry was posted on December 23, 2011 by in Europe, Inspiration, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .

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