I haven’t written in a while but the other day something happened that I thought was worth writing about. I had been very busy with a work project and was not very observant regarding my gas gauge. As a result, I was creeping through the parking garage at work and my car started to sputter. I looked at the gas gauge and sure enough, EMPTY! Luckily, I coasted right into a parking spot and didn’t back up traffic or create any other obstacles in the garage. I wasn’t worried about it since Ii figured I would hitch a ride from a co-worker and get some gas after work since I keep a gas can in the trunk….just in case.
I ended up working late and forgot to get the gas. “Oh well. I’ll just walk to the gas station”. If you recall, I work in the Texas Medical Center, which is the biggest medical center in the world. There are lots of buildings and fast food places, so I was well prepared if I wanted a burger or a band-aid but there are no gas stations within a couple of miles. So, I started walking.
As I was walking I was thinking about all types of things. How dumb I was to run out of gas, how nice the weather was, how stinking far away that gas station is. Just then a shuttle bus that runs unitl late at night just for our employees pulled up and offered me a ride. I hopped on and the shuttle took me on it’s normal route, and when I got off, I was about halfway to the station. Uplifted, and very pleased that I was so blessed to have gotten that ride, I was walking briskly down the sidewalk, gas station in view.
I continued walking and then I noticed the pickup truck in the lane closest to me. I don’t know if it was intentional but I swear he veered toward the giant puddle in the road. I stood unbelieving as he hit the puddle and I watched the tidal wave flying toward and then over me, engulfing me in foul, warm, stagnant water. Head to toe, drenched, primarily on my right side, but not entirely. I exploded in a series of loving, kind, Christian blessings directed at the SOB driving that truck, hoping maybe he would repent, feeling so guilty for his trespass that he would come and pay for my for my gas, my cleaning, and give me a ride back. Alas, he did not.
My mood changed. No longer amazed at the lovely weather or blessed by my bus ride, I trudged and sloshed along to the gas station, muttering indiscernably. Standing at the street corner, waiting forever for the light to change, I was well aware of the sideways glances coming from those sitting at the intersection in their cars.
“Look honey, that poor homeless man. HMMM. He’s wearing a nametag. Oh, I bet it tells us where he lives. Should we help?” Thank goodness nobody offered me money.
I finally made it across the intersection and found a functioning gas pump. The first two I tried didn’t work, leading me to a less than pleasant interaction with the foreign gas station attendant who did nothing but give me ugly looks when I told him the pump didn’t work. “You really don’t want to mess with me mister” is what I wanted to say. Of course I didn’t. I started to fill my 1 gallon gas can and an older gentleman pulled up to me to ask directions.
“Of course, ask the homeless guy directions. Who knows the streets better, right?” All in my head. My mouth said, “Oh yes sir, that is down at the next light. The Crowne Plaza? That’s down to the left.”
Noticing my gas can and my name tag, which did NOT tell where to return me in case I get lost, but identified me as an emplyee of the world’s best cancer center, he asked where my car was. I explained and he offered to give me a ride. You see, they had just come from the hospital visiting a family member receiving treatment there.
Funny how things happen isn’t it?
I was so appreciative and extended my thanks, but explained that I had just been drowned by a roadside tidal wave and didn’t want to mess up their nice car, because frankly, I really stunk.
“Oh don’t worry about that. Its a rental!”