My very first ride was a very interesting one.
Many moons ago, I had just gotten out of school around mid-day. I went to a tiny school just off the main highway and decided rather than ride the 6 hour busride I would simply hitchhike. I’ve seen people do it, how hard could it be?
So we have little ol’ me, standing on the side of the road. I felt like an idiot, but it was interesting nonetheless. Being an avid people-watcher, seeing all the people pass by was half the fun. Some of them just look at ya, others avoid eye contact altogether. Others, especially the ladies, will shake their heads in fear and denial. I can only imagine whats going on in their heads, “NOPE NOPE NOT GETTIN’ MURDERED TODAY MAYBE TOMORROW BUT NOT TODAY!!!”
That’s okay. I never held it against anyone for not picking me up. I just smiled and kept on truckin’.
Then, it happened. A big brown van with the windows tin foil’d and an aura of rape and murder surrounding it. Of course, my first ride and I’m going to die!
Well that sure as hell didn’t stop me, no siree! I wanted to get home already, damnit!
So against my better judgement, I got into his mystery machine. The inside wasn’t much better than the outside. Tons of miscellaneous items and objects in the back, a musty old smell, and a big dog stickin’ his head in between the seats. Needless to say my adrenaline was pumping.
(Similar to, but completely different)
Then we got to talkin’. Turns out, this raggity looking guy with a scruffy beard, unkept hair, and a mean lookin’ face was a super nice, laid back guy who just wanted to help out a stranger and give some advice. He offered to smoke some weed with me, which I politely declined using the guise of trying to find a job. He smiled when I said that, and started talking about how to find work, what employers want, how to dress, and how to act.
We got to the bar in town, which was pretty close to my house, and said our goodbyes.
On the walk home, it really hit me. This certified rape van owner was a good guy, and that people who would pick up a stranger on the side of the road are more than likely good people. I knew that this was something special I had. I would learn entire life stories and lessons from complete strangers. I’ve never been much for hobbies, but I just found a good one.