Archive for June, 2009

The Broken Counter


Garnet and I were at the gym.

I had just finished doing leg presses. All the machines there have electronic devices designed to count reps, but the device on this one wasn’t working.

Garnet had come up to tell me that she was headed over to the elliptical machines, when a man, with a smile on his face, came up and started talking to us.

He appeared to have had a stroke, and, at first, neither of us could figure out what he was trying to say. Eventually, I gathered enough to guess that he was trying to tell us that the counting device on the machine was broken.

He was delighted that the message had gotten through. He said a couple of more things. We said a couple more things, and he went on his way.

Later, Garnet and I talked about how much courage it must take to walk up to strangers and try to engage them knowing how difficult communication is going to be.

After his stroke (or whatever it was that happened), he could have closed down. Instead, he has chosen to be vulnerable – the price of continuing to participate in the world.

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