I’m one of those old people who likes to read real books that I can hold in my hands. No e-books for me. I like to use my collection of actual bookmarks (FYI: bookmarks are not just a virtual phenomenon) and picking up my library holds brings me joy.
Of course I am also a holdout for actual paper subscriptions to magazines. I like flipping the pages and seeing the pictures and reading the stories. I used to buy them for my office waiting room–few clients translates to no need for waiting–so I buy them solely for myself.
And don’t forget newspapers, the newsprint kind with ink that blackens my fingers. There’s something to holding the paper in my hands, hearing it crinkle as I turn the page, and ripping out articles so I can refer back to them. (I’m joking. I reluctantly use those newfangled computer bookmarks for the keepers.)
In the internet age, by the time the daily paper arrives, everything already seems like old news. But I don’t really care since I’m reading them more for the commentary than for the actual news anyhow. Newspapers may be a dying breed but I’ve been a staunch supporter. Or at least I was, until J. and I finally cancelled our paper delivery about two years ago to save money.
I miss the morning paper, but even more I miss our last paper-delivery fellow, who is a lovely man. We’d cross paths with him every so often when we were taking Jelly out at dawn. He seemed to enjoy his work. He worked in the neighbourhood for years, and whenever we saw him, he was smiling, despite his early start to the day.
Since we’ve cancelled our newspaper for the last time, we haven’t necessarily stopped receiving it, however. Once every week or two, a newspaper appears silently at our doorstep. We know it’s from Mr. Random Acts of Kindness because he leaves it on the stoop in exactly the same place he always did. We never seem to catch him in the act because he’s finished working before we’re up these days. I’ve been overwhelmed with guilt at not having an opportunity to thank him for his kindness.
Except for last week, when, an hour later than usual, Mr. RAK stealthily drove his car down our street and stopped in front of our house as I was heading out with Jelly. He jumped out of the car smiling broadly and handed me a newspaper. I finally had a chance to thank him in person. He said, “If I don’t give the extras to my old customers, they will go in the garbage.”
I’m sure Mr. RAK spreads his good will through the neighbourhood, although I may have been the only recipient last week. For the two days following this early morning encounter, I awoke to the paper on our stoop. I guess my brief thank you inspired our newspaper angel to direct all his kindness toward us for a few days.
I may have thanked him but I still owe him a cake. Eureka! I can leave it at the neighbour’s where he still delivers daily. I hope it makes him smile.