Friday, August 11, 2006

The Least of These...

I was walking out of Smith’s on my way home, because I had to get some batteries. This was the same day that thunderstorm snuck in and soaked everything downtown. The air smelled fresh and was contrasted by broken tree branches and fallen leaves littering the parking lot. I hadn’t walked ten steps from the door when I heard to my right someone yelling, “Hey man!” I kept walking ‘cause I didn’t know he was talking to me, but sure enough he was and I stopped after the next hey man.
“Hey man, can I get ride man?”
“A ride?”
“Yeah, just a ride man. My car broke down and I just need a hitch to my place, man, it ain’t far.”

There was no hiding on my face the fact that I didn’t want to give the dude a ride. He was a pretty rough looking character, to put it nicely, but then I also noticed he was drenched from the rainstorm.
“How far?”
“Not far, 1800 South, West Temple.”
I vascilated.
“Come on man! My car got a flat and I just need a ride to my place so I can get a spare.”
“Alright, let’s do it. Come jump in.”
“Finally! Good hell!” says he as we walk to my car. “I’ve been asking people in this parking lot for twenty minutes, and no one will give me a second look even. I was gonna talk to you and one more person, then I was gonna throw my hands up and to-hell-with-it and walk. What’s wrong with people in Utah these days? It used to be that people would help people man!”
As we pulled out of the parking lot I said something dumb like I was in hurry for something and that is why I wasn’t sure if I had time to give the ride. Some bologna excuse that probably came across as fake as it was. As we drove to his house he asked about Idaho, my home state, and whether people there still helped people. I said I thought so but wasn’t sure.

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