Wednesday, March 24, 2004

My Friendly Citizen Stories...

So, generally speaking, I'm an okay fellow. I'm polite to strangers, kind to animals, don't try and bone my friends girlfriends...I get by with no static basically. I try and live my life as drama-free as possible so I do the whole "treat others..." golden rule thing. It seems to work I guess. Anyway, I often have these little trials in my life where the values and morals I have worked out in my head get tested. Little situations where my inner-dialouge is like "Oh! Here's that opportunity to prove how strict you are with this moral code you've constructed." Like if some girl that I'm not attracted to suddenly starts tryin to get me in the sack, I know I won't be bonin' even though I got the sex life of a monk. I got standards goddammit. I just always try and do what seems right...not necessarily what feels good, but what seems right for me or others. So I'm either real secure with who I am or I'm a terrified mess with a mask of confidence. You decide.
Anyhoo, I remember my boy ODBeck tellin me that he always tried to pick up people when it looked like they ran outta gas on the interstate or wherever...just to help them out and be a good human. After I heard that i was like "yo, why don't I do that? Aiiight, next time I see someone I can help out i will." So i give my change to bums, hold the elevator door, help old ladies cross the street, blah blah blah. you know...

So one day I'm headin' to work, driving my vehicle down this alley from my apartment to the main street when I see an older (than me) gentleman workin on a lime-green back-in-the-day FORD of some sort. He's got this crazy old-man beard thats in the middle of turning grey and a worn out bootleg Tupac shirt from back in like '96 when Tupac was killed. One of those tribute shirts that flooded the market just after Tupacs death. Plus, he's got on a pair of red sweatpants and what appeared to be slippers. He kinda looked like he might've escaped a mental hospital cuz he even had a kind of jerky-ness to his movements. Whatever. The hood is up and he's all waving at me tryin to get my attention.
So I stop, roll my window down and I'm like "hey man what's up?" He asks me for a cigarette. I don't smoke, so then he asks me for a screwdriver so he can fix his truck. I'm like "yeah man, it's cool, lemme see if I got one." So I find the screwdriver and pass it to the guy, put my ride in PARK, and step out to help the man.
Then he starts pokin around under the hood:
"Do ya think if I tighten this up that'll tweak the exhaust?" he asks, pointing the screwdriver towards what I guess is the engine. It looked more a moon-shine distillery to me, but I don't know shit about cars or trucks so I'm like "yeah, I guess so." So he tightens up the screw and then he's like "mash on the gas man, let's see if we can get this thang runnin'"
So the next thing I know I'm behind the wheel of this dudes truck turnin the ignition and mashin on the gas pedal while he pours gasoline into the engine (or moonshine...whatever that old green weenie of a truck runs on...). It takes a few minutes but the next thing I know we got the truck on and running so I get out and he shakes my hand and thanks me. I'm like "cool, well man, i'm gonna head to work now, hope you make it to wherever your going..."
He cuts me off.
"Hey man, I'm gonna need to keep your screwdriver." He puts it in his pocket and looks me straight in the eyes. I'm like "aww man, your gonna take my screwdriver? That's the only one I have in the ride man? Come on." I reach my hand out. He steps back.
"Naw man I need this so I can make it home in case this thang breaks down again after I help Shirley out with this movin' thang she wants me to do." Now I have no idea who Shirley is or what the hell he's talkin about but he looked mighty serious, and his blood-shot eyes seemed to warm my heart, so I'm like:
"Ahhh fuck it, it's yours man, you can have it." But before I can turn around and get back in my car he's like "No no, I don't want to keep it, I just want to borrow it got a pen and paper in your ride man?" I say yes and dig through the glove-box until I find a pen and an old bank receipt. Than, he spits off a volley of numbers at me like:
"Eightfivethreeonetwoeleven" and gives me a grin. I write it down and I'm like "uh, what is this?"
"Aw man that's my phone-number, you want my address too? It's..." and he rapidly fires off his street name, apartment number AND zip code before I can say no. Then he's like:
"My name's Paul Dee (not really his name-)man, you can come by my place and get your screwdriver."
He started to smile, and he stepped towards me again:
"man, you smoke?"
"Naw man, I don't have any cigarettes, plus I'm late for work an-'
"Naw naw naw man, I mean you smoke bud?" He smiled. No wonder his eyes were so bloodshot!
"Well, yeah" I said as I grabbed my beard and grabbed my long hair with my other free hand "these pretty much give me away huh?" He laughed and then did the universal-hittin'-a-joint gesture.
"Me too man, look i'll tell you what, I got the's some two-hit-quit-shit. Gimmie a call sometime an'
I'll give you back your screwdriver an' get you blazed..remember, Paul Dee." Just then some lady in a car pulled up and he acted like he'd been waiting for her or something. I guess this was Shirley. They knew each other so I was like " Well, Paul, I'm out. I'll give you a call sometime." He gave me a wink and started talkin to the lady about movin' somethin with his truck. I got back in the ride and was 15 minutes late to work. Now that's how you start the day goddammit. I haven't called him yet, but I will.
The two-hit-quit-shit is not to be missed I think. More next post...

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