Running out of Gas

I am the consummate runner-out-of-gas (that is... one who runs out of gas, not, one who runs, who is out of gas, or... one who runs while lacking gas. Or... one who runs to exit some tank of gasoline? Don't you love English?). Oh, chuckledy, you my friend, believe this to be a mere humorous aside, but I assure you - there are souls in this world for whom the gods have given the thorn of gauge blindness. I thank holy things that I, at least am not blind to the speedometer (though my vision for it is not precisely perfect...). I run out all the time.

Karma, oh gentle reader is patient, kind and gentle mother, ever ready to extend us JUST a touch more credit, just a LITTLE more time. Until, she can't anymore, until she must take a debit from someone of her own account, and... its you. So, I respect old Mother Karma enough to not put her in that, I'm sure, very painful position if I can help it (though admittedly, I frequently fail to help it, nonetheless). As such, I TRY to stop when people are on the side of the road. Even without Karma, well, when you've been there stumping up the shoulder of a mid-city interstate between cars going 90 who could really care less if you live or die... you develop a pang of immediate sympathy when you see some other poor soul in the same predicament.

So, today, I exited from the highway - its been a most eventful week in my little, glass ball of a world, anyway, and not entirely one I am completely happy with my behavior in (when I am happy with my behavior, I shall return to the bottom, assuming I have now grown arrogant -- thank the Salvation by Grace Treadmill I understood in my youth, these things never entirely lose their echoes in one's mind). And then old Mother, she saw me exiting, and said, "Oh, well, now here's what I'll do!"

What should do if someone you love inadvertently image searches the words 'devious goddess'

And I found myself waiting at the light behind a suburban. Then... the door opened. And a man... got out. And I confess, my first instinct was the selfish one, wondering how I could pull around. BUT! I did not! For once! I popped my hazards, hopped out, and walked to the man, an African American gentleman approximately my own age with the flushed, defensive face of one who has done something humiliating, but would like to communicate to you forcefully, that he's perhaps not ready to find it funny. So, I just smiled. HE was disconsolately pushing the green suburban, singlehandedly. I had no real idea WHERE he thought he'd push it. I mean... he was at the light. And... its a suburban. They're real-real big. I think it was mostly for show, a way to signal to whoever was irritated being stuck behind him that 'hey, look, I'm trying ok?'

So I asked, "Need a hand, you trying to get it on the shoulder?'

This is the introduction that both parties know is simply a polite ruse. Clearly you need a hand, but simply going and helping without checking feels like an assumption of incompetence. In the given situation, the needy one ALREADY has a very humiliating weight of incompetence. I know. I've run out of gas once at this stop sign, and then I've also gotten in a car accident at this stop sign, that totaled my car while both cars were stopped, and without ever touching the gas pedal, or exceeding five miles per hour. I am a very talented individual.

Holly:  "Do you think she's talented, deeply and importantly talented?"Paul:  "No.  Amusingly and superficially talented, yes.  But deeply and importantly, no."
The man, of course informed me in response, "Mmmffnppp."

To which I smiled and responded 'Ah, I see!' Of course I didn't. I then offered, "Hey I think I have a gas can, in my trunk, let me check!"

At which point I did not wait for answer, though if I HAD I would likely have had the man offer, "No, I don't need a... hell... never mind, I'll tell him when he comes back."

And I DID come back. With no gas can. I hadn't one. So I was sort of embarrassed.

This is both not at ALL the picture I was looking for and yet, somehow, poetically apt.
But he then figured I guess "Well, he's dopey, maybe that at least means he's not a threat."

Oh, you silly fool...

Is this a pony? Are there moustachio-twirling pony villains?
No, actually, he just said, "Hey, would you mind going over and picking up my girlfriend at the gas station across the highway?"

"Sure, no problem!"

"She's got a gas can, she's wearing pink.... she a white girl?" That last part really DID come across as a sort of tentative question mark. I'm not sure if it meant 'is it okay, she's a white girl'? Or, 'Did you get all that'? Or 'don't worry its not a scary black person'? (which kind of makes me sad, that I think that might be what people assume I'd want to be sure of, but I think it wasn't, so I'm assuming the best) or what.

At any rate it wasn't a necessary description any way. Madame Jeuneblanc (sp?) was a white girl, sure. So were most of the people there. She was also carrying a gas can approximately the size of Providence Rhode Island, (I've never been to Providence, but I stand firmly by that statistic) and a sweat suit that I believe may have doubled as a non fuel-consuming pink safety flare. I really expected her to give me the 'Dude, you're a weird dude in a  crappy car pull pulling up to a strange lady and asking her to get in' look. But she was actually quite glad I came, and we crossed the bridge chattering pleasantly, and I dropped her off at the corner. Yay!

"What's your Karma level today?"

WEll. Maybe not OVER 9000. But still. I love people. I hope they had a wonderful afternoon.


Amanda said...

*kiss* You're lovely dear. Glad to hear the whole story now. :D

Debi said...

You = Awesome


Kenny Isbell said...

Wow. That was very nice of you. Not a lot of people would do that. I think it goes with your own experience of running out of gas in the middle of the road and having someone to help you in your time of need that encouraged you to give help to other people as well. I think the race issue will always be sensitive for every one of us, given our country’s past and of some people’s prejudices. But hey, you were able to do something good on that day so, kudos to you!
Kenny Isbell