It was bound to happen eventually.

“You know what I love?” I asked Matt as I strolled into our bedroom around 12:30 last night, just back from a fun night out in T-Town (dinner at Pacific Grill, then beer with Matt and a couple of good friends at Doyle’s).  “I love new experiences.  Like, for instance, being ripped-off by a crackhead.  That’s never happened to me until tonight!”

So, I pulled into the gas station at 12th and Sprague, and the moment my car came to a stop, there’s this body right outside my window.  It’s late, and it’s The Hood, so I was startled.  I cracked my window.  There’s a woman, apologizing for startling me, saying she’s out of gas and has been hassled four times already, and she’s “terrified.”  I ask how much she needs to get home, she says ten bucks, I hand it over and she jogs inside to pay, thanking and God-blessing me.  She hollers “Thanks!” as she’s filling up, and I say, “No problem.  Just do something nice for someone else sometime.”  “Always,” she says.  Then she abruptly says thanks again, and hops into her car.  I realize that was awfully quick for ten dollars, even at these prices.  I step out and look at her pump.  She sees me.  I say, “You only put one dollar in.”  She mouths, “I’m sorry.”  “You ripped me off?”  “I’m sorry.”  Then she pulled away.  I went into the store and mentioned the event to the counter guy.  He said she’s a crackhead and he’s called the police on her.

So, I lost ten bucks.  I don’t mind that, really.  I think my responsibility is to be helpful and generous.  That enlarges my soul and makes me a better person.  I can’t and shouldn’t try to assess the validity of every plea.  It doesn’t hurt me to hand over some pocket change.  I don’t like that I’m responsible for supplying her next fix, but someone would’ve eventually.  And that moment of looking her in the eyes as she mouthed her apology was striking.  She could’ve just squealed out of the station.  But, she paused, and honestly looked sad and distressed that I caught her.  I can only pity someone who lives such a desperate life.  I have it good.  Really good.

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One Response

  1. Lordy Lady. .. you are such a kind soul. I’m so glad your first thought was that she was an honest person. Most people go right to the thought that other people are awful.
    Love you!

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