Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Humanity

Today I had an experience that touched me so much that I had to share it. On my way to return a pair of jeans that didn't fit I noticed an unusual noise coming from the car. I checked my windows to see if they were open and, when none were, I slowed down and pulled over on the side of the road. I  checked my tires. Sure enough I had a flat.
A blue Honda CRV with new York license plates pulled over ahead of me and came to a stop. The driver rolled down his window and I walked over to ask if I he would call the emergency car service, AAA, for me because I had forgotten my phone at home.
"You have a flat?" he asked.
"Yes," I replied.
"You'll be waiting two hours for them to show up." he said and came out of his car.
I had noticed a child seat in the back and a wedding ring on the man's hand. I'm always weary of strange men but somehow my gut told me that I was safe with this man.
"I'm a mechanic, " he said and came over to look at the tire.
He shook his head.
"How long have you been driving on it?" he asked.
"A couple of miles," I said.
We took out the jack and car tools and he got to work changing my tire. It was near freezing, the ground was muddy and he worked without gloves. It took him about forty-five minutes to change that tire. The tire was stuck and he had to struggle to get it off, even got down in the mud and pushed it.
"I hope someone would do this for my wife," he said as he was working.
All the while I was thinking about how lucky I was that he pulled over. I couldn't believe that a stranger would just stop to help me. That he would take valuable time out of his day to help a total stranger. I felt a tightening in my chest and I didn't want to show how moved I was by his gesture.
When he changed the tire and we put all the tools back in the car, I asked him his name.
"John," he said.
"You're a good man, John," I said and hugged the big blue-eyed stranger who on a cold winter's day restored my faith in humanity.