Sunday, October 30, 2011

Possessed? Why did I do this?

Today I picked up a hitchhiker on the entry ramp to the interstate. Why? I have no explanation, but it's NOT like me!! 

I passed him with a shrug of apology because ① I never pick up hitchhikers, and ② the front seat of my truck was packed with stuff as usual so there was no room for a passenger had I even wanted one. Then 500 feet past him, I found myself backing down the damn on-ramp, and said if he could stand the cold wind in the open back of the truck, he could ride. He accepted with a "Yes, m'am" and hopped in.

I pulled over at the next rest area to talk to him about where he was headed so I could decide where to let him off. I felt absolutely no fear. He said his name was Mickey... clean-shaven, about 45-50, clean clothes, decent quality clean winter jacket, spanky white but not new tennies, clean jeans, good backpack frame and pack... and a fabric-cased guitar. Going home to Corpus Christi, Texas, if I believe him.

I reckon Jeffrey Dahmer was also clean-cut, but somehow this man got past my radar, and my inner guides just said to back-up and give him a lift. I haven't picked up a hitchhiker (including this one) but maybe 3 times in my whole life... one was a college-girl hiker close to my home (and hers), and the other when I was about 20 was a stranded motorist in the middle of nowhere and I could see his steaming, overheated vehicle. WHAT ever possessed me to pick up THIS man????

"Mickey" would prefer to be dropped off at an interstate exchange where there was fast food nearby, but he also had no money (nor did he ask me for any). It happens that I had just done a tad bit of shopping (end of the month, no-money-left tidbit shopping) and had a small bag of dried fruit that I shared with him. I also had just bought cream for my coffee and had picked up a pint of their new eggnog to try. I gave him some of the dried fruit and the pint bottle of eggnog, and left him at a MickeyD's with the last $3 in my wallet so he could eat from the dollar menu, use the bathroom, and get back to the on-ramp with his thumb out.

It was a strange encounter... and aftermath, and it doesn't feel like I was a chump. I actually feel good about sharing the meager foods I had in the truck, and the few dollars I had in my wallet (which were supposed to last until next Thursday when my SS check comes).


  1. Good for you, and you know what, even if he did sucker you, which he probably didn't, it's no skin off your nose. You did something good, for someone you thought needed it, and for no other reason than *because* it felt right. I wish there was more of that kind of humanity in this world.

    I've only ever picked up hitchhikers a couple of times, and once I offered a guy a ride, but I was going in a different direction. If I'm by myself, I sometimes stop, but if my daughters are with me, I won't - not ever.

  2. Thanks. I actually did feel good (later) about doing even such a small thing, and I probably have fewer resources than a thousand people who passed him without stopping.

  3. About every 5 years I pick up a hitchhiker, for the very same reason you did... just seems right. Met some very interesting folks. Only 1 bad experience: a young pregnant woman, clearly confused about her location (thought she was in another town altogether) (drugs? alcohol? mental illness?) who peed in the seat.

    I figure just bless the opportunity & good fortune.

  4. Thanks... and glad to see you back, by the way.

    I did give him a slip of paper with my email address and asked if he will find someone with internet when he gets home, to let me know he arrived safely.

  5. Meant to say, too bad about the seat!

  6. Thanks for the welcome, D. Nice to be back.

    I've also been known to take folks into a grocery store when I find 'em sitting outside & buy them $10 worth of food, whatever they want... canned stew, pizza, cookies. These days I think I'm more comfortable w/that. Heck, I'd even buy somebody a pack of cigs... I figure that's the LEAST of their problems. But no alcohol...


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