Alas, Val is not a Good Samaritan. Val is not much of a Samaritan at all. Maybe the kind of Samaritan who avoids your gaze...crosses the street to avoid you (if she can find a little ramp thingy so she doesn't have to step down off the curb)...pretends you don't exist. Not because she's evil, mind you. But because she doesn't want to get involved. She means you no harm. She just doesn't want to go to the trouble to help you.
Yesterday, I stopped at the gas station chicken store for my 44 oz Diet Coke. As I turned into the parking lot, I saw a rickety old man staggering along the area in front of my parking space. He was on the other side of the concrete tire-stopper barrier, so he was safe from being rammed by T-Hoe's grill. Not that I would do such a thing on purpose, of course.
[Perhaps I did not share the fact that the last time I had to drive A-Cad when T-Hoe was in the shop, I pulled perhaps a skosh too far into the garage. Leaving A-Cad's bumper approximately a quarter of an inch away from the cedar chest Hick has stored there. Hey! You can still see light between them if you stand just right. I didn't want the garage door to close on A-Cad, you know. I HAD to pull up as far as possible. I can't help it that Hick has junked up that side of the garage. Who can see a cedar chest, anyway, over the hood of an Acadia? It's too low!]
Anyhoo...the old man staggered to and fro. He was bobbing and weaving like Muhammad Ali in his prime. Veering side-to-side like Hick sweaving down the turnpike to Oklahoma. His pants, perhaps Dickey's work pants at one time, hung down off his butt, showing a hint of boxer waistband, but thankfully no plumber's crack. His button front shirt was covered by a worn brown jacket, short, kind of the style of a jean jacket, which may have once been corduroy. Let the record show that it was shortly after 11:00 a.m., and the temperature was 65 degrees.
The wind had been gusting and swirling all morning, so I thought maybe this guy was having trouble keeping his balance against the gales. He looked pretty frail. I also wondered if maybe he was drunk. Or if he needed to be drunk. He was fiddling with something in one hand, but I didn't see a pint or flask. Maybe I watch too much Intervention. All this flitted through my head as I pulled into my parking place.
Guy was already to the next space, the empty one between me and a silver sedan. He continued to stagger. Against the wind, I thought. I looked down to get change for my magical elixir, and was surprised to look out again and see Guy listing sideways, clawing his way along the passenger side of that silver sedan, barely holding himself up. He got to just behind the front door, then turned around and supported himself back towards the hood. Huh. If Guy was going to play THAT game, no way was I leaving my purse sitting there on T-Hoe's passenger seat! No use giving Guy temptation. I tucked my purse behind the seat.
Well. What should I do? Should I mention inside the store that there was a guy staggering around by the parking lot, leaning on a car? Was it my business? It's not like the temperature was below zero, and Guy was laying in a parking space, waiting to freeze or be run over. What if somebody in there was related to him? I didn't want to embarrass them. Maybe he was waiting for his ride to come out. Maybe he was a regular, with an inner ear equilibrium problem.
Yeah. I didn't say a word. I bought my 44 oz Diet Coke and some scratch-off tickets (won $40!). I went back out to T-Hoe, halfway expecting Guy to be crawling all over him. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Guy was
SITTING IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT OF THE SILVER SEDAN!
Yep. I must admit that I had half a mind to go back inside and tell on him. But really. It was not my business. As I stared (Guy never noticed), he turned his body and rested his feet on the pavement, leaned over his lap, and tried to light a cigarette. He wasn't really doing anything illegal. I never saw any alcohol. Never smelled his breath. Maybe he just had bad legs, and was perfectly fine to drive. IF he was going to. None of my business. I doubt anybody from the gas station chicken store could have done anything. Guy wasn't a nuisance. Just not a good walker.
I don't know how I get myself in these situations. Why I dwell on them.
Or why I found a penny laying beside T-Hoe's driver's door when I came back out.