posted on Oct, 24 2014 @ 12:20 PM
It was another boring day at work yesterday. I was eager to go home and relax. I had several things on my mind, namely to go pick up a bottle of
overly expensive BG 44K (I would have bought it online, but I was in a rush) and get some desperately needed gas. I popped the fuel door, dumped the
$32 bottle into my tank, and threw it away rather unceremoniously. Upon turning around, I was greeting with an awkwardly positioned gentleman who was
reminiscent to me of Ernest P. Worrell. The man seemed standoffish at first, saying something indiscernible amidst the cacophony of vehicles on the
road. I responded rather bluntly with 'whaaat?' Upon hearing this, he quickly approached me and I suddenly found myself drenched in a life story.
I still don't remember his first name, though he showed me his veteran drivers license multiple times throughout our upcoming expedition. I listened
and attempted to fill my tank as he told me of his home in Arkansas and status as 'Sarge.' He apparently served in the Army for 11 years in Vietnam
and was attempting to get to a town far north from where we were. He had a tendency to ramble on about the current topic. From the way he smelled, it
seemed like he had been drinking as well, and was slurring parts of his words. I'm still not sure if it was just his southern demeanor, or whether he
had in fact been drinking. He made a request that I bring him over to a town about 15 minutes away. Being as tired as I was, and having a full tank, I
decided to give him a lift. The poor guy had apparently been walking around town all day looking for a hotel to take him in (no vacancy all around
town due to an influx of workers) and was exhausted.
There we went, down the road. I've given people rides before, albeit short ones. This was a bit out of the way, but not too far. As I drove, he told
me more about his life in the Army, his family, and where he was going. I also got flashed his ID again. He had a tendency to forget things we had
discussed 5 minutes ago, and would ramble on about anything he would see. At this point, I was eager to get to the town and get him somewhere safe so
he could continue his journey. I was willing to put him up for the night since he had no money on him. He wanted to stop at the Catholic church, but
we stopped into the motel first. We pulled in and low and behold, 'no vacancy' posted on the door. We stopped in just for the heck of it, and at
this point I was going to tell this was going to be a long night.
The manager told us flatly there were no rooms and stared dumbly at us as we stood there pondering what to do next. Sarge asked him if there were any
other places to stay for the night. The manager called up a hotel down the road and they informed us of no vacancy there either and suggested we try
an even further town down the road 8 miles away. At this point, he was ready to go walk there, even though it was quickly getting dark and I knew it
was a long stretch of road. The manager looked annoyed at us as we got back in my car and locked the door after we left like we were going to cause
trouble. In frustration, I decided to take him to the other side of town and see if there was a place for him to stay at the rectory of the church. No
such luck there either as the priest was at a funeral.
Again, we stood there wondering what to do. He was ready to go find a place in town and curl up for the night, with no blanket or warmth, ready to go
walk to the town over in the morning. I began to shift through my phone and try to find the nearest police station to see if they would bunk him up in
a cell or something, especially considering that he seemed to have been drinking. You would think this would be a reasonable request, as I don't
think vagrancy is encouraged. You would think that... but I found a different story when we got to the station. Upon entering and spotting an officer
well protected behind a bullet proof glass wall with an impersonal hole in the center for conversing through, Sarge decided to inform him that there
was a problem. He told the officer about the blatant lack of hotels in the area and the officer quickly responded with 'that's not our problem.' He
then calls up the same hotels we had just visited and gets informed of the exact same situation we had faced. Big surprise there. Thankfully, Sarge
had to go take a restroom break. At this point, I informed the officer of the situation and how awkward it was. He then informs me if I don't want to
give him a ride any more, I don't have to. Well gee, thanks officer. I guess I'll leave him to wander around the city. The usefulness of the police
became very apparent to me that night. Sarge came back, and at this point, I decided I had gone this far, why not go a little farther?
8 more miles... we traveled even further down the highway. The first hotel I spotted was fancy, but it would have to do. We get into the lobby, the
manager there seems to exude a hippy air about her as she was dealing with a customer before us; rather carefree and detached from the moment. I end
up buying Sarge a room. Turns out it was a king size room. Still not sure if she thought we were a couple or something. Even with a military discount,
a couple stoneresque giggles from the manager, and a third floor elevator trip later, it was pretty pricy. She hooked him up with some shower gel and
soap so he could clean himself up too. FINALLY, I could go home...but not without first dropping sarge a $10 bill and driving him across the road to a
convenience store. Whether that man bought more alcohol or just wanted a microwave burrito at 8 pm, I do not know, nor do I want to know at this
Sarge sat me down at a lobby table and thanked me vehemently for what I did for him. He said a prayer with my hand gripped tightly. He called me an
angel several times that night and I really did feel like one after all that. It makes me think back to the random times I've encountered people who
went completely out of their way to help me. I think of them as angels too.
Have you ever locked the door on anyone in need? Did you not want to inconvenience yourself with paperwork and turn someone away? Did you judge too
quickly based on appearances? Who have you been an angel for today?