Have you ever had one of those days? When it just seems like nothing is going right for you?
I had just delivered a car near Broken Arrow, OK. When I say near, I mean it was outside the city limits in a fairly rural area. The customer was not a bit accommodating, and told me I'd have to walk to the city bus stop about five miles away. I had called several cab companies, but none offered service to that area. So I grabbed my duffel bag and started the long hike.
I've always been a sucker for shortcuts, ever since I was a little boy. So when I saw that I could cut through a field which would cut at least a half mile off my trip, I was eager to do so. There was a ditch between the highway and the field which I'd have to get across. I climbed down and prepared to jump over the water that was flowing through the wide ditch.
First I tossed my duffel bag gently across the other side. Then I took a few steps back to get a running start, and I rushed and jumped as far as I could. I came up just a little bit short of the bank on the other side of the water, and my tennis shoes immediately started to sink. The substance felt like a cross between muck and quicksand, and I was sinking steadily down. Soon my shoes had disappeared completely beneath the nasty muck, and I knew I had to take action quickly. I began to sway my body to get up some momentum, just like I did when I was a kid on the swingset. I threw myself forward and came tumbling down near my duffel bag. My feet were covered only by my white socks, as the muck had claimed my tennis shoes. The socks were mostly covered in mud, as were the bottom half of both legs.
I walked in my stocking feet til I found a Payless shoe store, where I went inside and bought a cheap pair of shoes. I had extra clean socks in my bag, but only had the one pair of shoes with me.
Luckily, I got a call from Riff, and there was a car in Tulsa headed to Richmond, VA. So I could ride the city bus from Broken Arrow into Tulsa easily enough. I got to the bus stop just as the bus had pulled away, and had to wait an hour for the next one to come.
Once I got to the car, I started on my journey east. Making a brief detour to a local bank so I could cash a few checks I still had totalling $500. I stopped near the Missouri border and got some gas and food. Before I left, I went to the dirty restroom way out back of the station. I was standing at the urinal when a large man wearing a trenchcoat walked in.
"Good morning," he said to me.
I don't much like talking to others, especially strangers, when I'm using the facilities. But I nodded and said "Hi."
"And how are you on this fine, fine morning?"
"Well actually, its afternoon."
"Thanks for the tip, smart ass. I'm gonna need all your money."
"Give me all your money, now!"
"What? What?" I was feeling somewhat dazed.
The man pushed me against the wall and punched me with his fist. The hand he hit me with had a ring on every finger, and that made the sting of his punches much more painful. He forced the watch off my wrist and demanded, "Now empty your pockets. Don't you fuck with me, I ain't playing with you."
I felt angry and struggled, but he was much bigger and stronger than me and slammed me hard against the wall. Then he pulled out a large hunting knife and put the serated edge of it to my neck. I slowly reached into my pocket.
"Yeah, yeah, that's a good boy. Get it all out." He took the cash I pulled out of my pocket and looked at it. Ten one dollar bills. "What's this? Where's the rest?"
"Payday is tomorrow. That's all I've got left from last week."
"You stupid motherfu--... You're lucky I don't slice you up." He threw me down on the floor, gave me a good solid kick, and ran out of the restroom. I was very sore, and slowly got up and headed for my car.
I called the police, and the man I spoke to told me to consider myself lucky that I got away alive and with no serious injuries. He said he would send an officer out to take a report if I could just wait at the station for an hour or so. I decided that it wouldn't be worthwhile, I'd rather get on down the road. I 0pened the console compartment between the front bucket seats, and thanked God that I always leave my wallet there when I travel, only keeping a small amount of cash in my pockets.
There sure are a lot of mean people out there in the world. That is why I feel it is so important to try to be thoughtful and generous and show kindness to others whenever possible. Maybe it will catch on.