We know a few things about M.
M. has an old-school typewriter. M. has lined paper and plastic bags. M. has a great heart, and the need and time to share it.
And, well, M. presumably spends a lot of time getting around town.
Last week, Bill Reid was walking in the West Seattle Junction when he spotted a piece of paper inside a plastic bag stapled to a telephone pole.
He kept walking, and then stopped, went back and got it.
Inside the bag was a folded piece of lined paper.
“Notes of Kindness,” it read, and underneath, “19 of 400.”
He opened it up:
“Do you ever think about how many ways there are to greet someone?” it began. “I think they are rather limited. Anyway, hello there stranger. Hope this evening finds you well, or day or night. Thank you for stopping by for this little note. I want to make your day a little better if it was a rough one today. Those days are the worst, but those are the ones that go by the quickest, as no one really savors them.”
In truth, Reid said, it actually had been a rough one. The Vashon Island resident was spending the day in West Seattle, where his girlfriend, Patti Curtis, runs a gallery on California Avenue called Fogue Studios. At some point, he needed a break and some fresh air.
“I just had to get out of there,” he said. “I was having a crappy day. Just … stuff. This whole pandemic.
“I just feel bummed out every day, and I think a lot of people are feeling that way,” said Reid, a former DJ for KNDD and KISW who now hosts a show on The Voice of Vashon radio.
“It’s a low-fever, ick kind of feeling. Might be the Big Dark.”
Whatever it was, it sent him walking past the telephone pole, where he spotted the note, but kept going.
“And then I turned around and looked at it again, and looked over my shoulder and wondered, ‘Is this Candid Camera?’
“I unwrapped it, and much to my delight, there was this sweet note in there,” he said.
“So, my friend, shake off the bad and know your next day will be better.
Said Reid: “It made my whole day.”
He posted two photos of the note on Facebook, where friends delighted with him — and speculated about M.
“I love this! Some people are absolutely the best,” one friend wrote.
“We need more of that there,” wrote another.
“Was it typed? Like on an actual typewriter?” one asked. “If so, even cooler. A treasure for sure.”
“OK, ” another said. “I like this M. person.”
Reid has no clue who M. might be — except, maybe busy.
“If I’m 19 out of 400, that means there are 399 more of these out there, and that makes it more interesting than ever,” he said. “People in the Junction should keep an eye open for this, or maybe the city.”
So, M. must have a boat, or a helicopter. Because getting back and forth between West Seattle and downtown can quickly turn an act of goodwill into a bad idea.
“True, it’s an island now,” Reid said of West Seattle. “But I haven’t heard any reports of other notes. As of yet.”
Whether it was just that one note, several hundred or some kind of performance art, it worked.
One man found one note at just the right moment, and it turned his day around — as well as every day since.
Reid keeps the note on his desk, in the plastic bag, to keep it safe and close.
“I don’t know what else to do with it,” he said. “Just that it’s a little bright spot that gave me pause. The good kind.”
So M., if you’re reading this: You may be a mystery, but you’re also A-OK.