The checker at the grocery store is sliding my purchases over the scanner. Suddenly he stops. He leans toward me and, gesturing for the woman right behind me to come closer, points to a very old man in line behind her.
“On the count of three,” he whispers conspiratorially, “say, ‘Good evening, Dean!’ One, two, three!”
“Good evening, Dean!” we chorus with him.
The old man, painfully thin, is reaching into his basket to put his purchases on the belt. He glances up, startled. The serendipity of the moment hits – and he gives us a smile of pure, unadulterated joy.