Wednesday, May 2, 2012
For years I rode up the elevator to the fifth floor of my office building every morning and, sure enough, a woman always got on at the second floor with her guide dog. She had stopped at the cafe to get a cup of steaming hot coffee. As the doors opened all of us moved to the back of the elevator with lightening speed. Our backs pressed against the far wall, we watched her enter and pivot so that she wasn't facing us. None of us spoke until one day she didn't turn her back to us. Instead she asked in a soft voice if it was the hot coffee or her dog that scared us. "I won't burn and he won't bite you," she promised. Then she smiled and added, "Just so you know, blindness isn't contagious." After that day, I always greeted her with a "good morning" whenever the elevator door opened on the second floor. I wondered why I hadn't thought to do that before she spoke to us. I have never forgotten her.