Saturday, December 05, 2009

all the small things

people think that a hero is someone who does a noble and grand gesture to save others from perilous danger. well, that's what the tv tells me.

and the reason i dislike most people is because they believe that to be true. well, that and the fact that as chuck once (almost) said "people never really listen. they're just waiting for their turn to speak".
and when i read those words i was happy someone else could put so simply into words something i hadn't been able to formulate myself, yet it was something i instantly knew to be true. and since then i've been depressed every time i notice how true it is.

so i always cherish the moments when people don't act so selfishly, and it restores my faith in humanity after it gets grinded away by everyday life (mostly by other car drivers)

of car drivers, my least favourite is an illiterate man from new orleans. my friend and i left houston after outstaying our welcome at a friends house who was leaving on holiday with her family. so we were taking the 30 hour bus to orlando. and whilst there were reports of a hurricane on the way our hosts really had to go on holiday.
so we took the bus. after about 6 hours, and reaching dusk, i blinked and the sky went black. my friend and i shot each other a glance and before we could say anything the bus driver announced we were shortly gonna stop in n'orleans cos there was a hurricane and we couldn't go any further.
we roll into the bus stop at about 10pm. we find a phone box and call some motels listed next to the phone box. one has space so we go outside and hail a cab. we tell him the address, show it to him to as we had written it down. he kinda nods and drives off. 15 mins later he stops, we pay him and get out. it was a beautiful neighbourhood but it slowly dawns on us that there was a distinct lack of hotel. we turn around to question him and notice he's already taken our bags out the boot, dumped them behind us and started to drive off.

so we look around. 1030pm. no phone boxes, no shops, no people.
till we see some young dude walking down the street and then towards a house on the other side of the road. we cross over and as he's waiting by the door i shout to him (it was a nice long pathway up to the door) "can we borrow your phone?"

"not my house" he replies "it's my girlfriend's"

not so great.

some middle aged lady opens the door and lets him in. he must have mentioned something to her as she looks at us and asks if she can help. we explain the goings on and primarily due to our english accents she invites us in. apparently her daughter had been travelling in england the year before and she would have expected someone to help her daughter out in a similar spot.
so she calls us a cab as we sit round the kitchen table with her daughter who was hot, and her daughter's friend who called us wankers! she said here, wanker meant someone from the west bank of the mississippi, but she also knew what it meant to us!

so we exchanged emails caught a cab, and enjoyed n'orelans for a day before moving onto to florida the next evening which included meeting some old dude at a bus station in tallahassee showing us his gun shot wounds. plural.

so whilst hero may be a bit strong, the unnecessary kindness towards strangers is something that i hope i'll never forget.

if someone is so kind to strangers, imagine how they'll treat people they care about.*

i like to think of stu ungar, who's lawyer once remarked to him he was short of cash. so stu gave him $10k and said pay me back when you can. and if you can't, i don't care.
or pavel erdos, who literally gave away any money he ever had.

*imo sometimes it harder to be nice to people you care about because if a stranger fucks you over it doesn't hurt half as much as when someone you care about does.

1 comment:

Sally-Sal said...

I think that helping anyone, no matter how small, makes you heroic.

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