On Facebook, someone asked me to do a weekly story from my life. Not a boring story or stupid one, but one of the fantastic tales of misshappery that seem to always happen to certain individuals in life, myself included. I thought you guys might enjoy these too, so I’m repeating them here. Here is the second one:
When I was in my late 20’s, I was an underwriter for a life insurance company. It was a fun job; I got to read medical records all day and decide what people were going to die of and how much extra premium to charge them for their current and potential illnesses. But it was a big responsibility and one that required me to have a certain amount of a very specific company’s caffeine each day.
One morning, I’d gotten up too late to make my normal Starbucks run, so I decided to stop by a Walgreens drug store near my office and get a bottled frappucino. I pulled into the relatively empty parking lot next to the only other car there—a very beat up, rusty sedan. As I put my own rusty, beat up sedan in park and took out my keys, I glanced to my left and saw the driver of the car I’d parked next to. He was an old man, probably around 70, with long, greasy, lank hair and a massive stomach. I watched as he opened his car door, moved to get out, and then I continued to watch as his head sunk lower and lower and finally, out of sight.
Now, it was early, so I was really confused, but I knew that normally, when people step out of their cars, their heads go higher up into the sky…not lower and disappear from view. So I got out of my car and walked around his to approach his driver’s door only to find it opened with him sitting on the ground with his side sort of against the door and his left hand on the bottom of the window. I already told you about his hair, but that was nothing compared to his outfit. He had on a “white” tshirt that was stained with whothehell knows what, dirty, sorta blackened army-green shorts, “white” socks and loafers. There was also a very strong, heavy unpleasant smell coming from him. It was sad, really—he seemed like one of those dudes that the whole world had probably forgotten.
I tried to talk to him. I asked him if he needed any help, if he was okay, if he was hurt. He ignored me completely. He didn’t look at me, didn’t talk to me, didn’t grunt at me, nothing. I even kneeled in front of him but still got no reaction. He was awake, he was not passed out, he was just having a nice, quiet sit.
For some reason, instead of doing all the things a normal person might do then—like calling an ambulance or letting someone inside the store know that there is a non-responsive dude on the ground—I decided that this was an emergency that needed immediate handling. I decided to lift him.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. I’m 5’3” on a good day and though my fat sometimes balls up to form the shape of muscles under my skin, I am not a powerhouse. I cannot lift a 350 pound man who is about 5’ 10 or so. I just can’t.
Or can I? After all, I’d seen adrenaline do some crazy shit to people. I can still remember my internal dialog. I thought, once I go get into position, the adrenaline will kick in and I will be able to lift this man.
I didn’t think about it beyond that. I didn’t think about what I was going to do with him once lifted him, or why I even needed to bother since it was about 7:30 AM, there was almost no one around and he wasn’t really in danger. I just knew that I could lift him.
Once I knew without a doubt that I could do this, I went into action. I talked to him as I positioned myself behind him. I let him know that I was going to help him get on his feet and that everything was going to be okay. He still didn’t make one sound or shift of the head to acknowledge me, but that was okay—I was going to save this fucker’s life, I was. I bent down behind him, straddling his back with my thighs so my knees could bend, pressed my chest up against his stinky, sweaty frame, positioned my arms under his moist, swampy armpits and lifted…except, that I didn’t actually move him a single, solitary centimeter.
I strained, groaned, grunted, and rubbed myself against this poor, mute, helpless old man and accomplished absolutely nothing. Nothing.
After a few tries, I gave up on adrenaline and awkwardly disengaged from him. I had effectively molested this poor old dude in the parking lot–touched his armpits, dry humped his back and then tried to rip his arms from their sockets, all without one word from him that he actually wanted or needed my help.
But still…I couldn’t just leave him there. I mean, if I could molest him so easily, imagine what a bad person could do? So I told him I was going to go inside and get him some help and I headed for the store.
I told the cashier by the front door what had happened, and then I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned and saw the man getting up from the ground, getting into his car and—finally—backing out of the parking spot.
I walked outside as he continued slowly backed out of his parking place, then noticed that all four of his tires were flat. As he drove away, I chased him frantically, waving my arms and running down the parking lot after him to tell him that we was going to ruin his wheels.
I’m not sure if he couldn’t hear me, didn’t see me, or was dealing with the emotional aftereffects of my molestation of him while he was having a harmless, relaxing sit in the parking lot, but he drove away faster than a car with four flat tires should have been able to. And I went to work confused, sweaty, and very, very stinky.
Come back next week and I’ll tell you about the worst date ever. And yeah, it’s much worse than the date during which I glued my eye shut.