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Gas Help - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Gas Help
A few weeks ago I stopped to buy some gas for my thirsty car. As I was filling up my tank, I glanced across the street and saw a guy standing on the corner waiting for the light. I don't know why I noticed him. He looked like a nice guy though.

While the tank was filling, I decided to go inside the store for a drink. As I walked in, I noticed the same guy had walked in just ahead of me. I headed to the cooler and heard him ask, "Gas cans?"

As I came to the counter, he was paying for a red container. It was one of those hot and muggy days we had awhile back, where you feel like you're swimming through the air not walking. He had beads of sweat running down his face, and his t-shirt was spotted also. He looked pretty miserable.

He was polite but perfunctory speaking to the clerk. As he said "thanks" and walked out the door, I recognized the tone in his voice because I've used it before myself. When for whatever reason I'm having a terrible day, but don't want to take it out on the person just doing their job. Tense and tired, but unemotional. Dealing with something unpleasant or frustrating, but just dealing with it anyway because that's the only option.

I paid for my drink and left the store, mulling it over. He hadn't asked for help. If he had, I probably wouldn't have been comfortable with it. But because he was politely enduring his bad day, I decided to try to make it better.

He was crouched by a pump, filling his container with gas. I walked over and said "Hi". He returned the greeting without looking up. I asked the question with an obvious answer. "Run out of gas?" He affirmed my guess.

"Do you want a ride somewhere?"

He looked up at me for the first time, smiling in surprise. "Yes actually that would be great. I'm just up the road a ways. Thanks, yeah!"

I smiled back. "No problem, I've been there. It sucks, doesn't it? My car's right over there, come by when you're ready."

We introduced ourselves, put his can in my trunk, and he got in my car with me. I turned the air conditioning way up for him. We chatted about various things as I headed north; he is a college student at OU, the car is new and it didn't warn him that the gas was low, stuff like that. His car was about a mile away, stranded in the left-turn lane. I parked mine behind it and made sure he got it started again.

I had to tell him how to use the funnel on the spout. "Don't worry about it. Like I said," I smiled, "I've been here before."

The car started, and we waved at one another and drove away. I headed off with a smile on my face. I hope he did too. It had only taken maybe 10 or 15 minutes of my time, but I think I was able to make him feel a lot better. And it cheered my day as well: it felt really good helping somebody out!


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jebra From: jebra Date: July 27th, 2007 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
As if I didn't already have enough reasons to think you're wonderful.
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: July 27th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Good for you. I had something similar (well, OK, virtually identical) happen back in May while driving a friend's car. Walking to get gas and walking back sucked. I even *asked* people for a ride, and no one helped. I was pissed at humanity that day.
dagibbs From: dagibbs Date: July 27th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Woot! You're awesome.
ellison From: ellison Date: July 27th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
First of all, you rock!

Secondly, not only am I sure he had a smile on his face, but it's probably the type of thing he'll remember for years. A person helped me out on the road one time and I always remember stuff like that, people like that, who just take a few minutes and make someone's whole day better. It's so awesome!
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: July 27th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice that you helped a stranger out, but if people run out of gas, they're not paying attention to their gas gauge, which makes me wonder if they also ignore their oil gauge, temp gauge, ...
greyyguy From: greyyguy Date: July 27th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
You are a very good person.
anderale From: anderale Date: July 27th, 2007 05:56 am (UTC) (Link)
You rock my socks. And you know my socks are pretty rockin' on their own so that means you're super duper rockin'...uh. Yeah, I'm a dork, but you're cool for doing that.
From: writerwench Date: July 27th, 2007 09:25 am (UTC) (Link)
That was extremely kind of you. You took a risk, of course, giving a ride to a single male, but heck.... your instincts were true.
How lovely to read of human kindness overriding the 'ooh-he-might-be-a-rapist!' neurosis of our age.
mbumby From: mbumby Date: July 27th, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
How very cool. I'm glad that nothing evil came of it. (I stopped to help someone once, and while it wasn't very evil, it wasn't terribly pleasant.)
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: July 28th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Score one good deed for Rennie!

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