Kindness in Four Acts

In North Carolina a rowdy bunch of gamblers on their way to a casino at the reservation picked me up and laughed about how they saw some sucker sleeping on the shoulder of the road some days before.  Boy they sure yucked it up when I told them that was me.

Somewhere in Tennessee another prophet picked me up on Route 40 and drove me all the way to Oklahoma City.  I forget his name but I do remember that he was a prophet and that he preached the Gospel for hours at a time. He stopped to help every broken down motorist along the way and picked up every hitchhiker.  The only time he stopped his homily to catch his breath was to listen to Janis Joplin and when he had an epileptic fit that left him slumped over the wheel.  I would have grabbed it if we swerved but we stayed straight and true.  Eventually he sat up glassy-eyed and shaken.  Maybe his name was Myshkin.

Then two Navajo women stopped and took me to Amarillo.  They laughed and joked and talked about what it means to “walk in beauty” as the saying goes. They pulled over quick so the woman in the passenger seat could lean out of door to be sick.  “Sorry,” she apologized to me.

In the panhandle, I walked across a train tracks as the clouds built up in the sky.  Crop dusters circled trying quick to finish up before the storm.  Just as the rain started to pour, a pickup truck pulled over.  An old man took me home to his old wife and they served me up a fine meal of meat and mashed potatoes.  Then he drove me to a truck stop.  I sat there and watched the men play cards until I got a ride to Colorado.


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