I'm on the lookout for free boxes, so that I can begin the process of packing up my life and moving. Again, already, and not at all the way I'd hoped to -- but I digress.
Just a few minutes ago, Craigslist told me that there were free boxes to be had, right around the corner from where I live. I figured they'd be gone, since the posting was a few hours old, but the address was so close by that I had to go and check. Lo and behold, the boxes were still there! As I began packing them into one of the ginormous bag/backpacks I got from last year's ComiCon (this one), a woman pulled over in the street, right near where I was working. I'd greeted her, on her way out of the apartment building in front of which the boxes had been left, just a minute before. "If you want more boxes," she said, "there are a couple more just ahead with the recycling -- they've got packing paper in them, so they might be harder to carry, but the paper would probably be good to reuse as well. Someone's moving in here, so they've just been left today -- still clean!" I thanked her, and did, in fact, check out the boxes she'd pointed out.
In addition to the small, flattened ones I'd stuffed into my bag, there were two medium sized ones, still in full box form: one had been full of the boxes now on my back, while the other was full of packing paper. As I gauged whether I could carry them both without breaking down the empty one, another woman pulled up, just at the curb. "Did you get all of the boxes?" I told her that I had, but asked when she was moving -- I thought we could split them if she was also going soon. "Not until January," she said, so I kept all but the empty one, and told her that she should take it, especially since she was in a car, and would have a much easier time getting it home. She asked where I lived, and offered carry it to my place, instead. I declined the offer -- it really was just around the corner, and I'd already gotten quite a haul. She thanked me for the box, and was considering the remaining packing materials when I started off for my place.
While the larger box was ungainly, it wasn't at all heavy, so was fine for such a short distance. As I turned down my street, though, I paused to give my arms a quick break, and to readjust it all for the last few yards. As I put everything down, a third woman pulled over and honked her horn, waving as I turned towards her. I smiled, presuming she was there to pick up someone in the building I'd stopped in front of, and had just been giving me a polite wave. As I began gather the things I'd set down for the moment, she came around the back of her car, paused her phone conversation and asked where I was going with the box, and whether I needed a ride. I thanked her, and assured her that I was almost there. As I walked up the steps to my building, I saw her go by, continuing on to wherever she was headed -- she hadn't been going to that building, after all, and had only stopped to offer me a lift.
I rarely miss a chance to complain about how crappy people can be. Since people can be awfully crappy, they give me plenty to complain about. But, sometimes it's nice to point out that the opposite is also true: people can be quite kind. Given how many have been kind to me, I should probably say so more often.
And now I'm off to fill those free boxes with things.