Riding the Waves of Ambivalence

Just now I heard the doorbell ring. “I ran into your car,” says the guy at the door. (My car was parked on the street.)

He got it way worse than me. Crumpled hood, smashed grill. I had scratches on my rear bumper and some scrapes.

I finished the call with Geico and walked over to him to see how he was doing. He was crying. “I don’t have one dollar to get my car fixed. I just lost my job. I live in this car.”

I looked — a sleeping bag and pillow in the back seat. I was torn as to what to do. I was angry, and I felt pity at the same time. I have been in situations where I did not know how I was going to get through.

He could have just took off, but instead he took responsibility. That had to count for something, I thought. I gave him $20 for food and told him to take a deep breath and just do the next right thing, that it would all be OK.

He started crying again, as he got into his car. It started. I repeated, “It’s going to be all right,” and gave him a manly pat-pat on the roof of the car, as if to seal the deal.

I actually have no idea if it is going to be all right or not. I hope so.

2 thoughts on “Riding the Waves of Ambivalence”

  1. Hell of a story.  Both uncomfortable and discomforting.  I think you did the best possible, given the circumstances. You just never know.

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