posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 10:47 PM
Well, tomorrow is hopefully the end of peonage and the beginning of a lucrative construction career - or worst case scenario the beginning of a brief
gainful employment that will enable me to leave better than I arrived and declare victory if I can't handle the winter.
I've built myself a little karma for the occasion. I don't think it's particularly classy to brag about charity but there's a lesson in this one
I would rather celebrate than be quietly content with.
I was sitting in camp this afternoon laboriously copying football stats onto a chart I've made to help me do better on my weekly long shot parlay
cards (for non gamblers, I pick the results of 5 football games and bet 2 dollars, and if I pick all 5 right I get 100 dollars- if I ever get good
enough to pick 12 out of 12 that would pay 6,000 on my 2 dollar bet, but there are point handicaps so it's way harder than it sounds). Anyway between
that and having found a radio station that plays pre-war rock n roll almost exclusively (there was exactly one rock n roll station in my home town for
demographic reasons and it kind of sucks these days so good radio is huge to me) I was in my own little world.
Suddenly I hear a loud voice somewhere closer to my camp than usual, and look to find no one and go back to my own world. After a few minutes the
voice is back, this time closer and when I look up there is somebody who is obviously in the same boat as me and having a tougher time of it standing
at the window of my truck. So I roll it down to see what he wants, and he lays down his story. All explanations raise red flags to me, even though as
a Californian who hates the East Coast I am well aware that I am full of unnecessary explanations myself and that it's part of what makes some people
dislike me. The point of his story is he needs to borrow my spare tire. I was hesitant, but frankly ashamed not to help, so after some hmming and
hawing and asking if my tire plug kit would help, it was agreed that we'd exchange phone numbers then he'd put 100+ dollars of my property on his
car long enough to get to the Wal-Mart auto center.
Upon removing my spare I found the cable that suspends it under my truck was separated and several strands were already snapped. I was on my way to a
traffic accident insurance would not cover if I hadn't taken that tire down!
Then while following him to Wal-Mart it dawned on me that I knew him - we worked together for a night as roadies at a Kat Perkins concert. I've
always been proud of my loyalty to coworkers- I bring the military ethic to any job - our lives may not be on the line but our livelihoods are so the
guy next to you is your brother. That would have hurt to realize if I had left him hanging so I could rock out and gamble and not worry about an old
tire I wasn't even using.
So we got him there and then had a meal together at McDonald's- he and his girlfriend (also a coworker from the same event and one I'd taken a few
glances at not knowing they were together) were good company and I had a better time not being alone than a third hour of music and statistics would
Now my tire is in the back of my truck where it will do no harm- instant payment of good karma- my admittedly reluctant decision to trust was
affirmed, I can sleep without trying to rationalize that I wasn't there for a coworker as I've always been proud to be, and my favorite part of it:
in some small way I got to play the hero. It's always been my style to ride in like the cavalry in a friend's darkest hour but in recent years I've
tended to be the helpless one instead. I didn't grow up to be a cowboy or a war hero or a ninja turtle and that sucks - but I get my little moments,
and I'm doing well enough that they're happening more and more again.