Gandhi At The Gas Pump

The simplest acts of kindness

are by far more powerful than

a thousand heads bowed in prayer – Mahatma Ghandi

“You ain’t scared or nothin’ are you hon?”  I was a little, actually…I was alone, no other customers around.   “It’s o.k. hon, I ain’t scaring you, right hon?”  The middle-aged, very disheveled  man, repeated over and again in the thick “Bawlmer” (Baltimore) accent so common in these parts.  I was trying to pump gas after the usual whirlwind morning of school drop off and grocery store run before heading to work.

“Don’t worry hon, I won’t hurt you, hon.”  After my initial defense of no eye contact and looking towards the building to see if anyone was watching so they could identify my soon to be murderer..I realized he was digging through the trash can, looking for food.  Pulling out empty bags and junk food wrappers at a fast and furious pace, glancing at the same building that I had been, probably knowing he had limited time before being chased away.

“I ain’t scaring you, right hon??”

Oh, right..he probably scares the customers, gets shooed away by the owners of the gas station, while trying to lick the greasy remnants off a chip bag…probably every day of his pathetic life.

“No, I’m not scared”  I surprised myself.  I have made it a policy to not talk to crazy people after the guy in the grocery store parking lot threw up a gallon of booze on my shoes after asking me for money last summer.

He was moving faster, finally found an ice tea bottle with a good two swigs left in it.  I watched him carefully place all the trash back in , leaving no trace of his raid.  I asked him if he was hungry (duh.),  and asked him to minivan was full of groceries.

“Thanks hon”

Cried all the way home.

Help each other people.

trash can


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