I'd like to tell you about an event that occurred in 2008, one that should have been on the news but wasn't. Please read this story, as the more eyes to see it, the more likely I am to locate this person and settle this matter once and for all.
I was flying home from my first trip to Mexico, and had an hour and a half layover in Los Angeles. Fittingly, I only had about 40 bucks to my name so I reluctantly entered the McDonald’s and ordered a cheap "meal". After I was finished, I went through customs and sat outside chain smoking for a while (just to be a hypocrite). Once I saw that I had just over 40 minutes until my flight boarded, I leisurely made my way inside and stood in the customs line. When I approached the security guard, I confidently removed my backpack and stuck my hand in the pocket where my passport sits. It wasn't there. The color drained out of my face, and I chuckled nervously while my hands searched furiously through my bag. Nothing. I then proceeded to lose my mind, overcome with sheer panic. Apparently I was convincing, because after hesitating a moment, the security guard waved me through to look for my passport.
I ran headlong to the McDonald’s, which was now packed with a 50 person lineup. I screeched to a halt at the counter and stammered something like, “Have you seen my face on a passport here?…I mean, did you find a passport in here somewhere?" The wide-eyed employee shook her head, and I turned around...I'm pretty sure I bellowed, “MOTHERF%#@ER!” before stumbling past the long line of families with small children, all leaning slightly away from me with looks of either concern or indignation on their faces. I was almost to the door when suddenly, out of the crowd, a hand gripped my arm.
Peering desperately into my eyes was a middle aged man, and he said, “You need help…I want to help you." My eyes filled with tears (as they are now writing this) and I completely broke down, blubbering like a kid who’d lost their mom at the mall. He stepped out of line and guided me to the exit, telling me that we could report it and the whole airport would know. While we were on our way to the crown room, he tried to calm me down by making conversation. I told him I was a waitress but I wanted to be an artist.
We reported the passport missing to the authorities and they noted that I only had about 15 minutes left until my plane boarded. As I stood there near my gate with the man, an airport employee came up to me and said, "You are going to miss your flight. You have to go to the Canadian embassy in Los Angeles and...." "No, NO!" I exclaimed, "I'm a Canadian, I have to go home! I can't stay here, and I'm getting on that plane right over there…” “No, you're not," she said firmly. The man cut in, asking me how much money I had. My eyes went wide and I said, “…about 40 bucks." He said, “That won't even get you a taxi to the embassy, let alone anything else...here. This is all I have on me." And he took $200 out of his pocket, placing it into my hand. My childhood training kicked in and I cried, ”No no no, I can't take your money…” “LISTEN,” He said, his tone becoming unfamiliarly harsh, "I have a daughter who is 18, and I would like to think that if she was in this situation, someone would do the same! Take the money!" Sufficiently chastised and humbled, I took the money, muttering many thank you’s and he said, ”Look. I don't want to leave you, but I have to get line for my plane now. I wish you the best of luck…you will be ok, alright?” Then he took off.
I stood there, stunned, feeling very alone in a giant hangar with rivers of people swirling around me. The line up to my plane was beginning to form, people gathering their items resignedly. I turned around and faced the crowd, tears streaming down my face. Suddenly, through the crowd my eyes picked out the face of security woman, looking straight into my eyes and walking quickly towards me. As the crowd parted around her she stepped up to me, eyes shining, mouth grinning, and said, “This yours?”…and handed me my passport.
I almost fell over. Hugging her and thanking her profusely, it suddenly hit me that I still had someone else’s $200 in my hand. Before I knew what I was doing I was running headlong again, this time in the direction the man had gone. I scanned the lineups to planes, and you know what? I found him. I ran up to him and hugged him, telling him the news and pushing the money back into his hands. He gave me an amused look and said, “What did you say you wanted to be?” “…an artist,” I replied timidly. He gave me a wide grin, shoved the money back and said, “Honey, I'm a film producer. You are going to need this more than me!" and just like that, he scooted away and boarded his plane. I got back to mine in the knick of time and as I flew home, surrounded by bored and preoccupied faces, I grinned so much that I think a few of them were worried I would jump up and hug everyone aboard (all covered in terror sweat and tears of joy)!
…So that's my story. Not expecting that were you? My hope is to find that man (and possibly even the story of how the passport was actually found) and send him a beautiful piece of art, a small token for changing my life that day. I remember his name very clearly, from the card I managed to hang onto for a short time (yes there does seem to be a recurring motif here): John Kissack. I believe he was from L.A. and his production company at the time contained a biblical name: Ezekiel. I have done some searches online but surprisingly, nothing came up. Please share this story to your wall, email it to a friend in L.A., etc. I truly appreciate any efforts in helping me locate this kind hearted individual. Amongst all the conflict, cold shoulders, and ignorance that exist in this human world, I will never forget that there is also beauty, light, compassion, warmth, and generosity between strangers as well as loved ones…and I want to be part of spreading that. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.