Johnny Boston

The other day, coming home on TRAX, I met a man named "Johnny Boston--self-proclaimed." His accent was thick as Chow-duh, his mullet was even thicker, and the weight-belt poking out of his uncomfortably tight sweatpant/wife-beater ensemble made his torso seem thickest of all. But man howdy! how we had a good conversation! In 15 minutes, we talked about his life in Boston, New York City, and Utah, the meaning of life, and that damn steep hill going up the East Bench. Johnny had been homeless from 17 to until recently, where he's now working in SLC and living with a friend of his, 61-year-old Ms. Jo. Through the course of our conversation, I discovered that Johnny's 47, a fan of Salt Lake, somewhat familiar with the wrong side of the law (we chatted about criminal prosecution a bit) and I'm pretty sure he gave me his phone number to "call up if you ever want to say hi to Joe." It wasn't weird or awkward, because it was heartfelt. It all so reminded me of making friends at busstops in Brazil or on sleeper trains in Switzerland. Lordy, how I love public transportation! Anyway, Johnny was lugging about 40 pounds of food up from one of the local missions to get to a friend of his who'd just gone through a difficult lay-off. We struck up our conversation because he asked me to help get the food on and off TRAX. And it struck me that this guy, who works at a downtown restaurant, probably well in excess of 40 hours a week, and definitely not making supreme amounts of money, would take some of his precious time off to get food for a friend, deliver it to his house, and all on a light rail train. Sometimes, in the midst of the running and broo-ha-ha of life, tiny things make you stop and consider the tracks your on and just how fast your going. Sometimes, you have to slow down in order to hit the right path. Thanks, Johnny. You just made another friend.


Barb said...

Isn't it incredible the kindness that some people are capable of? It's a wake up call to those of us who have so much yet do so (comparatively) little.

Heidi said...

i feel inspired