Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Good Deed?

I stopped at a truck stop for fill up my tank on my way home today. Just a routine stop. While I was twisting open the gas cap, out of the corner of my eye did I spy a young guy walking with a plastic red gas can from person to person at the gas pumps asking for a couple dollars of gas. Just great, I know he's gonna make his way over to me! I thought. I prayed someone would give him gas to he wouldn't have to come over. One by one, people turned him down. "Who is this guy asking for gas? This is going to be annoying," I muttered. I just had a long day and just didn't want to be bothered.

Well soon enough after he was turned down by 4 or 5 people, he shows up right next to me. Ugh. He was in his late 20's, normal looking. I turned to him and rather harshly said, "Yes, what do you want? I see you going from person to person and everyone is turning you away!" OK, so I wasn't the nicest. I immediately acted out against this stranger for coming up and begging for gas. I wanted a reason.

"I, I, I just want a couple dollars of gas, that's all," he stuttered.
"WHERE are you going?"
"I'm just trying to make my way cross country."
"WHERE is your car?"
"Parked across the street," he said quickly pointing to a car stuffed to the ceiling with belongings.
"WHY are going cross country?" I asked. I knew this was getting personal, but what the heck.
"Well, I just want to start over. I just wanna start over man."

I thought back several years ago when I was in dire straits financially. I remember stopping at a gas station and paying for 1 gallon of gas to get me home in dimes, nickels, and pennies. I was so embarrassed.  I actually apologized to the young girl at the counter. "No problem, alot of people are having a tough time with the rising gas prices," she stated trying to make me feel better.

Well right then and there I empathized with this stranger. I was there once, destitute and not having enough money for gas, even to get home.  And it wasn't like he was asking for $5.00 cash which could be spent on drugs or alcohol. He was asking for a couple dollars of gas to be poured into his gas can.  I gave it to him. He was looking around while I was filling up the can.

"Why are you looking about? Are you looking for someone? You look nervous."
"Well they kind of frown upon this thing man. And they may tell me to get lost."
"Oh, you mean truck stop or gas station owners."
"Yeah," he said. "The owners."
"Ok, no problem. I put in enough for a couple gallons of gas. That will help get you down the highway some ways."
"Thank you man, I appreciate it. Thank you so much."

He said thanks several more times. I guess not alot of people have helped him. I wished him well on his journey and he continued on to the next person to ask for a couple dollars of gas.  I guess he could have been a serial killer. He seemed pretty normal. But then again, some serial killers seem pretty normal, too. I'm a pretty good judge of character. I have to be with my job in Domestic Relations. I didn't feel nervous, was in a public area surrounded by others. I just felt I was doing a good deed ... something that I would hope someone would do for me if I needed gas.

I relayed this experience to my big brother Adam.  Older brother that he always is, he warned me to always be careful. I said of course I will Adam. He also said "What happens if you see him asking for gas again at the same station?"  I laughed out loud. "I will tell him off and go get the truck stop manager to get him kicked out of the place."  We both laughed and he asked me to call him next week if I see him.

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