At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference. ~ Kierkegaard
“They have problems,” my wife notes as I pump our Ford’s tank full of fuel. I look the direction of her gaze to find a young lady holding an infant in one arm and a young child with the other hand. An obvious grandparent stands with them, she with the responsibility of guarding the empty gas container.
I tear the receipt from the pump and make my way back to the truck. “Do you need some help?” I start to respond but then realize my wife’s question is directed to the strangers on the sidewalk. “Desperately,” echoes back in the place of her interrogation.
Mind on our date night and far from TC’s conversation with strangers, I inwardly groan when I hear, “Can we buy you some gas?”
The life story begins; the story that is chiseling away at my appointment with Fran Striker’s modern mayhem… “Kemo sabe, you wife make you late.”
Rushing to fill the small container, I hear “load up and we’ll take you back to your car.” Splashing gasoline onto my flip-flopped foot, I hoist the can into the back of the truck and, with a backseat full of strangers, head the opposite direction from the theatre.
When we arrive at the sidelined stranger’s car, my concern is multiplied with the thought, “this woman needs more than a small can of gas… this behemoth she’s in will need the whole can just to fire over.”
Unvented, it takes twenty minutes to pour her gallon of gas into her tank. My mind wanders to good guy – bad guy shoot-em-up scenes that someone’s enjoying, just not me.
The look in my wife’s eyes removes my final lone ranger of hope for dinner and a movie. “You’ll never get home without more gas,” she says. We hand over Tonto’s endowment to the lady in distress.
Teary-eyed, she insists on giving us a big hug before riding off into the sunset. Somewhere distantly off I hear the thunderous shout, “Hi-Ho Silver! Away!” We settle for a meager buffet a la Mongolia and head back to the home front.
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Philippians 4:14