Day 290: A Random Act of Kindness at the Met

Metropolitan Opera (Lincoln Center), staircase
Metropolitan Opera (Lincoln Center), staircase (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you live life from a wheelchair you see the worst in people, and the best. I have been called an entitled rich kid during college because the on campus apartments where I lived were indeed more expensive than the dorms but they also happened to be the only campus housing sufficiently accessible for my wheelchair. I have also had my lunch paid for by by the people who worked food services when my  meal plan ran out and I was too broke to afford it out of pocket. When I  was fourteen years old I took a school field trip to NYC. One of the places we visited was the Metropolitan Opera House. Unfortunately the elevator didn’t go up to the observation deck and there was no way my aunt and were  going to climb the stairs, so we stood in the hall, content to listen to the rehearsal through the loudspeaker. Shortly after it started a man who was was obviously a Met employee walked passed us. And several minutes later appeared again, this time walking past us in the other direction. Repeat twice more. Same man, Looking at me and my aunt standing in the hall. I am ashamed to admit now that he unnerved me a little. On his fourth pass or so  he came over to where my aunt and I  were standing and asked if we’d actually like to see something more interesting than a mostly empty hallway. Of course we said yes but explained about not being able to reach the observation deck.

He shook his head. He had something better. We followed him until he turned a corner and drew back a curtain. There were six musicians seated in an alcove, and the chairs had been moved to make room for my chair. I got to sit behind professional classical musicians while they played. Afterwards I found out from our guide that I did have a better view than they had,from the observation deck they had looked like stick figures. That trip happened over ten years ago now and I still haven’t forgotten that seemingly small gift of kindness from a man whose name I never knew


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