This morning I left for my regular sixty five mile drive to work. It was a cool and heavily overcast due to the overnight much needed thunderstorms that rolled thru. The drive is pretty boring, just rolling hills and little to see. In this stretch there is a thirty mile section, I deem, a true ‘no mans land’. Not a thing but fence line and the occasional farm house.

Any local knows you had better be good on gas or you’ll be hoofing it. It is all to common to see at least a couple of autos left on the side of the road from the overnight traveler who knows no better. The past five years I have stopped and helped with flats and gave rides to the next stop up the road. I used to not do this but one day my mind wondered if maybe I was passing an angel or a test from above. Just the big guys way of seeing my compassion to my fellow man.

I have always been shown heart felt thanks. The kinda thanks seen in their eyes, that calming relief that someone cares, even if you’re a stranger. I have always made sure they had a ride back or at the very least was put into contact with someone I trusted to help them. I always leave with a comfort that feeling the same way.

Much like the other times, I began to notice the image of someone on foot. I didn’t remember seeing a car or truck but that didn’t seem to matter. I pulled to the shoulder rolled down the window and asked if a ride would help. They accepted. He appeared to be in his mid to late twenties, a little on the lean side. I told him that I didn’t notice his car but would gladly get him to the next stop. He didn’t speak much, only when spoken to, almost nervous like. I had seen it before but this was a tad different. I asked if he’d run out of gas or had the problem been more mechanical. He stumbled for words but did get out the ‘not sure’, that began to put me on guard.

We were about ten miles from the truck stop when he pulled his knife. This time, his voice was direct and clear. He wanted my wallet. I told him that I was a working stiff just getting by like some many of us are. I assured him that what ever cash I had I would give but my wallet, with all the cards, I.D. and pictures of my family -- NO -- that was to much. He wasn’t happy at that reply and again pointed the knife closer to me. NO -- the money wasn’t a problem, hell I’d gave it to him had at least a good sob story, but I wasn’t going to take off from my productive tax producing day to replace these items he demanded me surrender.

I asked him to put the knife away, that stabbing me, the driver, would be a fatal mistake. I went on to attempt to let him know that we could work thru this and go on with life. He took a deep breath and said he just wanted whatever cash I had and things would be ‘cool’. I told him I knew times were bad and probably going to get worse. That jobs are hard to find. I explained that this country was heading for rough road, life was hard, and trying to be free to do what makes us happy, is so difficult.

He was getting his shoulders relaxed, as to say -- he felt no threat. I said that I’d let him out of the car but that I was going to give this money as a gift. A gift - no strings - no hard feelings. He said he was sorry as I reached with my left hand toward my back pocket. I was watching his expression of true remorse as he was introduced to Mrs. Jones. See, I’ve had a thing going on with her for several years. We embrace and become one. Many hours of dance practice, no steps are missed and no matter the tempo, we are tight. His face was white as her cold steel face saw thru him.

He sat and learned that the life, liberty and pursuit there of, that I had expressed to him only moments before, came with responsibilities. One of which is be willing to do what it takes to achieve them by honest sweat breaking work. The kind that so many of us do daily. Even when our wage is stripped from us by threat if not paid, by someone who overstepping their boundary. I went on to say there are rules and laws that protect us and are in place to give all of us equal start. What we make of ourselves is then left to us to decide thru determination and hard work. I then asked if he knew physics. Now truly stunned by his new found schooling, he barely uttered -- no. I then rang the school bell for the next lesson.

Physics is the study of matter, energy, force, motion and the way they relate to each other. Much like our encounter, objects came together. Two objects colliding. That energy then is absorbed and altered. The relationship of them changes, transformed it into something that could explode into a more violent action. He was extremely confused. So I then gave him an example by what we working stiffs call ‘on the job training‘. I slowed the car to thirty five. I asked him to open his door and jump. He did.

I am wondering if he is applying this new found knowledge for a greater cause. That the responsible thing is the right thing. That freedom is being ready and able to defend it. And there is no teacher like the school of hard knocks. It will force your actions into motions that will impact your life forever.

Mrs. Jones is still at my side. She is heartless. The Terra-Mako allows this other woman in my life. Maybe because she has a Mr. Smith in hers. He is all steel and no sex appeal, a real brute. On occasion they have been known to out dance us.


Giggle T said...

It's sad that happened to you. Let's hope this guy learned his lesson and tried to at least find a job some place, make an honest living instead of robbing someone.

bluepitbull said...

He's lucky to have come across someone as merciful as you. I don't think I'd have slowed down. Good to hear that you came out of that OK.

LandShark 5150 said...

Gig T - thanks for stopping by. I hope that he is ok and is maybe, much like me, now looks at that stranger you pass by may just be an angel or a test of your goodwill. I will still always stop to help for it is our true duty and step of faith.

LandShark 5150 said...

Bully - it was a test for me, I think. It wasn't till that moment that reason, words,emotions and being prepared came together that allowed me the upperhand. And that allowed mercy. I am thankful the man above showed it to me.
You, as a soldier, when tested, I feel would do the same. Prepare for war and walk in peace. Thanks, my friend.