My townhouse is structured in an area that is becoming less peculiar. In the sake of privacy and to deter hoards of fans from camping out in front of my house (sorry this would be against conveyance rules), I will deter from giving away my address and opt to describe my not so desolate highway.
I live in the everyday hustle and bustle of life. My humble abode is situated in a community attached to a shopping common. Various stores, some smaller than others, are the focal point before discovering a neighborhood nestled neatly from view. My living location – seemingly not so exciting – is relevant. So read on…
My Midget and I made a run for the border this past Saturday night. Such an adventure is not typically an eventful trip into town. The sights and sounds we witnessed on the way to pickup up nachos and quesadillas were also experienced by others. A specific observation, not the car ride nor my eating habits, at least not at the moment, are what prompted this moment of pause.
While thinking outside the bun, we drove through the main street of the common towards the traffic circle. It was difficult not to miss the car sitting in the middle of the very busy street, emergency lights flashing and what seemed to be the driver leaning forward as we zoomed by speeding hastily 10 miles per hour.
Pointing out the car and driver to Midget, images flipped quickly in my head then faded just as fast – drugs, hot wiring, drunk.
Yes, of course it seemed strange. I mean the jalopy and unusual motorist were smack dab in the middle of the road! Midget immediately mentioned that he was likely up to no good and would be in trouble should the cops catch him idly sitting there. Without further thought, we moseyed to the Bell, purchased our unhealthy dinner then began the trek back home – no more than a half hour trip.
As we entered into the common once again driving onto the main thoroughfare, immediately visible was the same car, parked in the same place, still with the hazard lights blinking.. click, click. Those lights flickering brighter than Christmas bulbs as if to scream “hey, look at me”.. click, click. Cars were speeding by in the opposite direction while others swerved around the sitting vehicle. No one apparently giving a second glance.
Somewhat surprised to see the same spectacle, I slowed (concern fueling my rubber-necking) as I went around the heap of metal on four wheels. There was no denying, the driver was not leaning into but was completely slumped onto the steering wheel.
Ten seconds passes quickly when thinking negative thoughts that morph just a fast into notions of distress.
Searching for a place to pull over, Midget protesting adamantly, I found an empty parking space (a miracle in itself regardless of the time). She continued her rant about scary people and stranger danger. She was convinced someone else would stop to help if the situation was truly legit. To be so young, she had no doubt he was either drunk or on drugs and did not need my assistance.
Turning to her as I shut the engine off, I asked if she would want someone to help if I needed it. Before she could answer, I dialed 9-1-1 and exited the car. As the emergency operator came onto the phone, I began walking towards the waiting vehicle.
Pausing from what seemed a game of 20 questions , I told the operator I was uncomfortable just sauntering up to the unknown man in the illegally parked car. As he suggested proceeding with caution (uh duh!), I continued to cross the street to offer assistance.
No sooner had I crossed the busy road than an elderly woman exited the store and opened the creaky door of the questionable car. Now half listening to the operator, I asked this withered old bird if she or the driver needed a helping hand.
She stopped and looked at me as if I had two heads and one had sprouted horns. She was actually surprised by my question. She smiled… a big-best-money-can-buy-dentures-gleaming-from-the-street-lamp – smile – then shook her head in rejection of my offer.
What she said next left me questioning the world’s tainted behavior and made me pause to briefly consider if laughing at a purportedly 100 year old would be disrespectful…
‘Sweetie,’ she said, ‘he just needed a leettle nap. He doesn’t like shoppin’ and needin’ to carry my totes. But ‘stubburn’ coot doesn’t want me to come out alone! He’s alright. Can sleep anywhere – he’s just resting for a spell.’ She thanked me for my concern as she gaily strolled back into the store, obviously oblivious to the many traffic violations Rip Van Winkle was committing.
Shaking my head and giggling, I thanked the emergency operator. Got back into my car explaining the happenings to my overly concerned, neck twisted daughter and began driving the rest of the way home.
Midget decided Life Alert would be my next Christmas present.
That old woman has made me smile several times since with thoughts of an overly protective old love, his oblivion to her good nature poke, and his sleeping in the smack dab middle of traffic with no care in the world.
Their crazy love, my sullied assumptions, my Midget’s tarnished perspective, hell even this wickedly tainted world made me pause – if we all just had the courage to think positively more often than not.
I am sure glad I did.
Disclaimer folks: I admit, had Mr. Napsalot been parked in the middle of a deserted road, I would have called emergency services while speeding by.
Sure glad he wasn’t.
By no means suggesting we put ourselves in harm’s way. Just suggesting we consider what the world would be like if we paused and on occasion simply give a little bit more.
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