In today's episode of "You don't ask, you don't get" -
I hate yardwork, but I'd been doing a fair amount of it today since the weather is cool enough, and my neighbor was kind enough to mow my lawn this morning. About two hours in, I'm straightening up the garage and getting ready to pack it in for the day, I notice a young man I've seen around the neighborhood power walking past my house. I wave and say hello. He acknowledges me, and stops cold. "Ma'am, could I trouble you for a ride to 16th and Ida?"
I blinked, and asked, "Right now?". In a very conciliatory tone, he said yes. His dad has diabetes and he's not doing well. He was walking back to their trailer from the Walgreens across the street, after picking up his insulin. I just happened to be outside, and we'd been friendly in passing before. So, he took a risk and asked. After taking a brief whiff of myself, and deeming any funk I had acceptable in the confines of a tiny car, we hopped in and off we went. I needed the break anyway.
Now, for the pearl clutchers among you, let me really give you something to gasp about. This young man had tattoos for eyebrows, and a tear by his eye. Life hasn't been kind to him, but here he he is apologizing and making sure to call me ma'am the whole 2 minute drive. He's all his dad has, and as long as they have each other, he's going to be there to take care of him. That's beautiful, and like hell I'm going to knowingly stand in the way of that sort of thing. When we pulled up, he thanked me again and asked if he could pay me for the ride. I'm not too worried about the nickel worth of gas, and I needed the break before I ended up getting cocky and hurting myself with yardwork. I refused to let him give me anything. Hopefully, he can save that for paying for the health care his dad needs.
Was it a reckless thing to do? Maybe. Should I have been concerned with my safety? Probably about as much as any other time I get behind the wheel. Would everybody do the same? Likely not. But I figure if I can leave this place a little better than I found it, then I should put in the work. He asked, and I could and did say yes. Love your neighbors. Especially in these trying times.