Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just the facts ma'am

Sometimes you might be in a place, and it's not a nice place really. Much as you hate it, logic doesn't explain your presence there. You'd like every one of your personal outcomes explained by a series of your actions/inactions. But sometimes it's not that way. Those times, maybe you're where you're supposed to be. No one can take away this strange gift you have, of bumbling your way into moments much prettier than anything Rembrandt ever painted. There's work to do, and lots of fun, everywhere you look, no matter the place.

It was Tuesday. I was working the daywatch out of specialty coatings with my partner, um, I don't have a partner.

I pulled into the convenience store parking lot on a routine 402 (coke & candy bar).
A man was standing next to a truck with the hood up. He said, "Excuse me sir, might you have a pair of bullheads?"

I gazed at him for a long moment and blinked a couple of times, the way I do when I'm trying not to say what I'm thinking. I went to my trunk and returned with jumper cables. "You mean these?" He nodded.

We attached the jumper cables as the man talked. "Don't know what it is, hope it's nothing bad. When I turn the key it just makes a clicking noise."

"Is that right."

I got behind the wheel of my Mustang and cranked it up. I gave her some gas and listened to the 225hp motor racing. After a few moments he tried the truck and it started. "I sure do thank you Mister, what do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything. Just next time you see somebody who needs help, you help them, all right?"

"Yes sir, I sure will." I was putting the jumper cables back in the trunk when he switched off his truck's motor. He seemed confused that it wouldn't start again.

"Now you're just messin' with me," I said while reattaching the jumper cables.

"I just wanted to see is all. Maybe I need one of those, what do they call them, alternators?"

"Yeah, maybe so. Here's what we're gonna do. You're going to get in that truck and stay in that truck, OK? Once it starts, I'll put the hood down. You keep that motor running and go wherever it is you're going, but don't let that motor go dead, got that?"

"I won't, I promise. I sure do thank you. If you ever need anything at all, you just come to the Whitehaven Autozone store, that's where I work." I'm glad he works at an Autozone store, it's a good place to buy those, what do you call them, alternators?

I watched him leave the parking lot. A woman who'd apparently been on a routine 351 (fueling a motor vehicle) and had watched us, pulled beside me and rolled down her window. "I just wanted to say this old world ain't run out of good folks yet, I reckon."

I smiled. It hurt my face a little. I said, "Give God the glory."

She said, "That's what I was gonna say. God will surely bless you for what you just did for a person in need."

"He already has ma'am."

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