El Gringoqueño

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Small Victory on the Road to Jericho

I was on my way to the office when I passed an older man working to change a flat tire.  He looked to be in his sixties and drove a modest car.  My first inclination was to stop and help him out.  Here is a recap of my internal dialog.

I should stop.  He looks like he could use a hand.

Oh, there’s no real place to stop.  Oops, I just passed him.  The traffic is heavy, there’s no space.  Should I turn around? 

Would I want someone to help me?  

But I’m dressed for the office.  I’ll get all sweaty and dirty if I stop.

It looks really dangerous.  He’s got only 1 or 2 feet of clearance parked where he is in the middle of the road. 

It’s too dangerous.

If I stop to help help this man, what will happen to me?  I shook my head, and then it hit me.  I was on the road to Jericho.  No, I think, if I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him? 

He is in the middle of the road, there is traffic all around.  If he slips, if a car passes too close… what would happen to him if I’m not there to help?

I wheeled around and pulled up in where he was.  I stepped out of the car and asked him if he needed a hand.  He didn’t really, but "Thank you," he said. 

He was finishing up, but I told him I’d stand and watch for cars.  I’m tall and hard to miss.  I’ll make sure that the cars see you here.

Again, he thanked me.  I said I wished I could have gotten there sooner to help, because this thing has happened to me many times.  He tightened the lugs and stood up.  I shook his hand and wished him a good day.  We got into our cars and drove off.

I know I didn’t really do anything physically helpful.  Would that I had arrived earlier, but I suppose, with all the cars passing by barely noticing a fellow, my presence was lifting.  You’re not alone, hermano.  If anything, there was someone today looking out for you on the road to Jericho. 

4 Comments

  1. On the road to Jericho?
    Is that where that guy in the big book met the good Samaritan?
    Or was it where that Roman guy saw God and changed his ways?
    Jericho.. something about seven horns and the walls falling?

    Long time since I did Sunday church:)

  2. Yeah, Samaritan guy. You see, you’re already several steps ahead of most people, myself included. You know there were a bunch of roads where stuff happened. I had to google which one Mr. Samaritan was on. I was thinking it was Damascus, but that’s where Paul had HIS little episode (which you mentioned).

    I think the whole road thing is significant, because roads tend to be serendipitous. Most of what happens on roads is unexpected. I like that in Spanish, camino means “way” but it’s also “road.” The Way and the road seem to be synonymous in that sense.

  3. Roads also have exclusive rights to certain things like:
    – By The Way (diners)
    – Highway patrols
    – roadkill
    – Robin Hood
    – serial killers (only almost exclusive)
    – UFO sightings (top statistics, mostly known celestial bodies, e.g. the moon)
    – Zen Buddhist monks (Love ’em don’t leave ’em)
    – car crashes, etc. etc.

    Then again, Jericho is a known prison in the US, right?
    But roads are pretty easy to write about (and write from) because they almost invariably point towards the future in the middle of a transitional period. Very cliché.

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