I had to take a couple buses to the "local" post office (some 20 blocks away) to pick up a package.... On the way there, as I stood strap-hanging off the bar, a little black boy, no more than 7, fresh faced, with a cartoon-emblazoned hat, matching jacket, and brightly colored backpack, sat in front of me.
A few stops later, I felt a tug on the end of my coat. I don't know what caused him to do it, but he asked me with a sincere tone, "Mister, do you want to sit down?"
I swear my heart melted.
"No, that's okay, buddy, it's all yours."
And then he smiled.
He kept glancing up at me from time to time, and then he spotted the picture of Shrek on the envelope of my Netflix return envelope.
"Huh? Oh, that's just my envelope to return my movie, like you do to a video store."
"Did you ever see Lion King 1 1/2?" he asked.
My stop was just coming up after he said that, and, flustered to fight my way out, I said that I hadn't, and said goodbye to the lad as I exited the bus.
After I had stepped off, I realized that I had seen the movie, and wished I could have told him that. Why? I don't know, maybe so that he could think that this grown-up he was talking to liked cartoons. Heck, I love cartoons probably more than most kids. But maybe it was to talk to him not so much as a young, naive child, but to bond, in the briefest of moments, as two people with a common interest, and could smile together.
In the end, he reminded me of something pure and noble--
Humanity without prejudice, or consequence, still exists--in the heart of a child.