Every Monday through Friday, in the morning, she sits at the windows at my home base subway station selling the Boston Herald. She's been doing this for many, many years. And every morning we smile at each other and wish a happy weekend or a good day to each other. I don't interrupt when others are purchasing or talking to her, just a head nod or a little wave. We don't know each other's name, but we can be pleasant and offer comfort just the same.
I don't say dickish things like, "try to stay warm" or "boy, it's raining today." She's many decades older than me, making her living in front of those windows. The elements coming in constantly. I worry, as she could be my mother's age ... And when I go down that road, I spiral far too quickly out if my mind. She calls me "my friend," and I cherish that.