On a bitter cold morning, a woman in a black jacket comes off the ferry.
She walks past me with a big smile. I watch her. And I see that the smile is for a man in work pants standing off to the side.
Are you who last night’s oysters came from? she asks him.
Yeah, he says. He has a knit cap on and big work gloves.
They were incredible! she says.
Aw, good, he says. Good.
She introduces herself. She says her husband bought last night’s oysters.
The best I’ve had, she tells the man. And I’ve had oysters!
He smiles. You know, I’m barely making a living doing this, he says. It’s stuff like this that keeps me going.
I listen. And I know it would have been easy for the woman in the black jacket not to say anything. To just charge off the ferry to some place warm, like everyone else.
But then, the only thing she would have missed was the chance to remind a man in a knit cap that his work in this world mattered.