Not so much a Missed Connection as one of those oddly intimate encounters you have with a stranger.
My car had a flat. I did not panic but my heart did a little pirouette at the thought of finally putting my money to good use; I could now call AAA. I waited the obligatory 45 mins to an hour for help. As I gazed through my condensation filled windows at the blurry headlights and hurried pedestrians, I wondered why it always takes about an hour for everything. Help. Delivered pizzas. An unknown number tells me that help is a few blocks away in a silver pick up truck. My hero drives a Ford.
He told me he refused to change a tire in such a narrow street. His joke was lost on me as I replied "At least see if my tire just needs more air." I stood in the rain shortly answering his questions regarding my non-existent husband/boyfriend and why he could come change my tire. "You can sit in the car, you know. You don't have to stand out here with me." Slightly embarrassed, I slid into the drivers seat.
The car shuddered, rose, and fell as if it were tripping on some crazy hydrolics. I felt for my car and all the bullying it had to endure. He came to me to ask if I had the special piece for my tire. The special what? I stared at him blankly. Clueless girl is a role I hate to play, but I know less than nothing about cars. Amused yet not surprised by my lack of knowledge, he laughed and asked for the car's manual. He awkwardly bent over and ducked his head into my car to shield at least that bit of him from the dreary rain. I caught myself almost inviting him in but as I curled my numb toes I realized how awkwardly close we would be; he was a big man. "You can turn the car on if you're cold" he said breaking my train of thought exactly at the moment I realized I was freezing. The economist in me wouldn't let me do it, it would be a colossal waste of gas.
He perused the manual further then looked up at me.
"Stop looking so nervous." said he.
"I'm not nervous!" I snapped, snatching the fingernails I had been biting away from my mouth.
"See the piece that you're missing, I have. But I'm not supposed to use it, contract shit. The last time I did, I got in trouble." He laughs. "So it's up to you. I can do it or I'll have to call a tow truck to take you to a shop where they're supposed to do it."
"You... what?" I replied, hopelessly confused.
He sighed and patiently broke it down to me. I chimed in and shrugged off the things he mentioned that were obvious and that I knew already. He painstakingly explained things I would never get normally. Very in tune we strangers were.
"Well, I guess I'll wait for a tow truck then," I decided.
He gave me a look filled with frustration, bewilderment, and again, a hint of amusement. "But it'll cost the same thing," he countered.
"Yeah, but I might as well follow the rules."
Defeated, he shut my door and went back to work. I sat in confusion as to what would happen next, trying to catch bits of his push-to-talk conversations as the car continued to shake, rattle, and roll in response to the work being done.
"You're all done," he told me 20 mins later.
"Thanks," I mumbled as I wondered; did he just change my tire after I told him not to? As if he knew what was better for me and just did it??
After taking a few steps away from my car he came back to add "and don't forget to take off your emergency break." Something I've forgotten to do one too many times.
The situation was odd. Odd enough to dedicate a post to. I feel like... in another life we would've been together. And he would have been good for me. At least for a while.
[Image via we heart it]