Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The one where we pick up a hitchhiker

I know- you're all freaking out, going "You did WHAT?" Settle down now. It's not what you think. I mean I did pick up a hitchhiker, but it was a blind boy. See, you're not so worried now, right? Have you ever heard of a blind serial killer? No, didn't think so.

Friday night Lu and I decided at around 7pm that we needed to eat something for dinner. And we both agreed that DQ sounded amazing. So we put Baby Dylan in his car seat and headed to Hamilton. Hamilton is a tiny town about twenty minutes north of us if you take the back roads. And we always take the back roads. Those roads are the roads my kids learned to drive on. There's hardly ever many cars on them and they wind through sleepy little towns, well if you can call a collection of houses a town. So we drive through the first little town and round a curve when I see a guy waving his arms over his head to flag me down.

Lu: Don't stop!

Me: But it might be important. There might be an accident or something.

Lu: Or he might be a serial killer.

Me: (slowing down) Lu, I'm just going to roll down my window a bit and see what's going on.

Lu: What if he has a gun?

Me: (Almost at a stop and close enough to really see the guy) Lu, it's just a kid.

Lu: So were the children of the corn!!

I stop, roll down my window, and realize that there's something wrong with the kid. He looks about twelve and I realize his eyes aren't focusing and he's blind. So I ask what he needs and he starts walking towards my voice. He runs into the door of my car.

Him: I'm blind.

Me: Yep. I got that. Can I help you?

Him: Well, I'm walking to Tioga and I just wondered how close I was.

Me: You're walking there by yourself?

Him: Yeah, it's okay, I do it alot. I go all over.

Me: Where are your folks? (who lets a blind kid wonder around by themselves??)

Him: Oh the're at home. We don't really get along. My dad's 71. I'm adopted.

Me: (thinking age is no excuse for letting a blind kid walk around by himself) well you don't have any weapons on you, do you?

Him: No. Just cash.

Me: Get in the car, I'll take you back to Tioga. (Lu is frantically shaking her head in the back)

Him: Thanks a lot. I'm going to Mark Foster's. Its a trailer house. Do you know where that is?

Me: No. I'm not from Tioga. Which side of the street will it be on? Do you know what it looks like?

Him: Left side. No. Not really (well of course not, he's blind.)

We drive through the town and I don't see it on the left side. And there are a ton of trailer houses in this town. So we stop to ask a guy on a four wheeler. He says we missed it and to follow him. So we turn around and he leads us to the house. It looks pretty run down and has like a forest full of firewood stacked next to it.

Him: (pulling out money and asking me what each bill is) here's some money for your gas.

Me: No, it's cool. Don't worry about it.

Some really disreputable people come to the window and tell him the guy who lives there isn't home. I tell him to get back in the car. No way I'm leaving a blind kid with them. So I end up taking him back to the intersection where I found him. I did not feel right dropping him off there but he insisted. In the course of the ride I found out that he was fifteen, lived on a farm, his oldest brother is about to turn 50 and he's only been blind for three years. He lost his sight in a four wheeler accident in the winter when he was herding cows. He was lucky to be alive. He had been going to the small high school there but was going to go to the school for the blind in Jacksonville this year. He was a sweet kid. I told him where we lived and and kept saying "we". He probably thought I was crazy because Lu never made a noise the whole time. Nor did Dylan. So he probably didn't even know they were there. After we dropped him off~

Me: You could have said something.

Lu: You were chatting away, doing just fine on your own. Besides, I was being you silent back-up.

Me: What? In case the blind kid attacked me?

Lu: Yes. Now I know why Luke wants me to keep a pocketknife in the diaper bag for protection. You aren't supposed to pick up hitchhikers.

Me: Lu, he tried to pay me for 5 minutes worth of gas. I think he was harmless.

We went to DQ and returned home. We didn't see the blind guy on our way back. Later that night I was working in my office when Lu came in with Dylan.

Lu: Dylan needs a bottle but I'm scared to go into the kitchen.

Me: Why?

Lu: I keep hearing this knocking noise coming from there. And I'm still creeped out from earlier.

Me: You think the blind kid found our house and is waiting outside?

Lu: Well you did tell him where we live...

Me: And what? He's going to make his way through our house, which at the moment has boxes and dressers everywhere, and murder us in our sleep? I'm pretty sure I'd hear him bumping into things. Hell, I can't walk through here without running into things.

Lu: You never know.

Me: You do know the windows are open, right? It's probably a noise from outside.

Lu: I didn't know. Will you get the bottle anyway?

I got the bottle. *sigh* Later I was telling Mike the story and I ended with the fact that maybe we were running late that night for a reason. Maybe we were supposed to help him. The universe gives you all sorts of chances to do good things, you just have to take them.

Mike: was it that house that has all the wood stacked around it?

Me: Yes!

Mike: That's a really seedy looking place. You really need to be careful.

Me: I wasn't going inside. I was just dropping him off. Geez! It was just a good deed.
Me: Maybe, in an alternate universe we didn't stop and someone ran him over. Or maybe in an alternate universe those disreputable people got him when he made it to that house alone.

Lu: Or maybe in an alternate universe he had an accomplice and when you stopped, they whipped out guns and jacked the car with us inside.

Me: Or maybe he got terribly lost and couldn't find his way home and died.

Lu: I think if you die in one alternate reality, you have to die in all of them.

Me: I don't think it works that way.

Lu: I'm pretty sure it does.

Me: And since when are you the alternate reality expert? I just read a book about them.

Lu: whatever. I'm pretty sure I'm right.

Me: We'll ask Sean when he gets home. He'll give us some long drawn out Quantum physics answer that neither of us will understand and will sound like 'blah blah alternate reality blah' but then he'll dumb it down for us.

So we're waiting on Sean. This story makes me laugh but at the same time it makes me sad. I'm sad that my kids have grown up in a world where they  don't trust anyone and can imagine such horrible scenarios. I'm glad they're smart enough to know that not all strangers are the good guys, but mourn for the innocence I'm not sure they ever had.



  1. **UPDATE**

    Sean: (on the phone from New Mexico) Did you write a blog post today?

    Me: Yep. Why?

    Sean: because I was talking about you and this guy is going to stalk you on the internet now.

    Me: Sweet! I love stalkers. Russell Brand stalked me for awhile you know.

    Sean: That was never confirmed.

    Me: Whatevs. Today's post was a good one. It's about how I picked up a blind hitchhiker.

    Sean: You did what? You are not supposed to pick up hitchhikers.

    Me: What part of "blind" aren't you people getting?

    Sean: What if he'd stabbed you?

    Me: He was blind. He couldn't see me.

    True Story.


  2. You a brave one Spot! Didn't you see The Book of Eli? He was blind and took everybody down!

    What if he was an alien that looked and acted like a blind kid and you were really abducted and don't remember?

    I like the What if game.

    I was telling Jason leaving late from work, I like to imagine as the elevator doors are closing. I glimpse something..dun...dun...dun.

    Love your stories - even the "true" ones.

    And I do believe you were meant to cross paths.


  3. hello...... i might be said stalker mentioned above or maybe not. but really watch out for hitch hikers.

  4. Reminds me of the time our muffler fell off in West Virginia and Rocco wouldn't take help from the hillbilly in the pickup just because he had a gun rack and no teeth. Dude. It was WEST VIRGINIA. What did he expect? Don't he know them there's my people?

  5. What a fabulous imagination your Lu has!!! Even better that she is cautious and has a "what if" attitude. Innocence is lost when people (all ages) don't take precautions and find themselves in undesirable and detrimental situations. However, it makes a big difference in this world when compassionate folks like yourself look out for children in need, as in the case of the teenager you stopped helped out.

  6. Tell Lu that if you die in one reality, you don't die in the other. Not that I'm an expert or anything but I did just write about about alternate realities :) Ha!

  7. hi,
    its me your new most loyal follower. I maybe your stalker. Please do take care when picking up hitch hikers.


  8. Spot you did a good thing helping that young man. I was reminded of a time when I was diving home from work and saw a young man riding his bicycle down the hiway. It was almost midnight and raining buckets. I thought "I should stop and offer him a ride and toss the bike in the truck. BUT "Never pick up strangers was stuck in my head so I drove on. 8 miles later that young man was struck and killed by a truck who never saw him in the dark and rain...I will never forget that if not for my parents drilling into my skull to NEVER pick up strangers, that young man might be alive today. Gold Star Spot...but please be careful, there are bad people out there.

  9. I think you earned a gold star for picking him up although you do need to be careful picking up strangers (in more ways than one!) It is a sad thing that our kids are so disillusioned today.

  10. Tabitha here:

    Dude, I have a gazillion mixed emotions about this! You are brave, crazy out of your mind, the kindest sweetest most loving trusting person, but you are never supposed to pick up hitchikers blind or otherwise. Of course, my spiritual side agrees that the universe works in ways we can't comprehend so maybe...I'm just glad you guys are safe. :-)