Posted in Life

“I’ll watch it for you.”

At the top step of the old hospital entrance, a woman asked me, “Do you think it will be safe to leave this here while I go get the car?” Next to her on the curb of pick up entrance was a wagon full of clothes, a child car seat, and take-out food.

This city boy thought to himself, ” I wouldn’t leave anything out of my sight around here.” We weren’t too far away from the emergency room entrance, a gathering place for people without homes. I said, “I’ll stay here and watch it for you.”

“Oh, thank you! I’ll be back in a minute.” She ran off towards the parking lot as I stood guard for a moment. It was indeed just a minute and she pulled into the circular driveway. As she did, a young woman walked out of the hospital carrying a newborn. The family packed up all their stuff as I headed to the information desk to get my visitor ID. Even though no one eyed the contents of the wagon, I’m glad I waited there.

On the way home, I sat in a coffee shop, I saw an open laptop computer, textbooks, and a cell phone  on an unoccupied table. Again I thought, “I wouldn’t take my eyes off of anything around here.” Anyone could walk out the door with those things in just a few seconds.

But no one touched or looked at anything on the table. Everyone just went about their business. The owner stepped out of the restroom, sat down, and got back to work.

I would never do that. I would take all my stuff with me. Every time. Am I overly cautious? Are others naive? Should I be more trusting? Or does unattended stuff usually disappear?

I’ve seen purses sitting atop unattended shopping carts, cell phones hanging from back pockets, and unoccupied running cars (yes, people still do that).

Don’t worry. I’ll keep an eye on your stuff. But someone else is probably eyeing it, too.