When I was 26 I lived across the street from the beach. It was a tiny apartment, less than 500 square feet. I didn’t mind the size of the place. What I really minded was that there was no washer and dryer. You may recall from this post, that I firmly believe that I am going to be stabbed to death in a laundromat. I had a death dream.
I had to take my laundry down to this seedy beachside laundromat in a Winn Dixie shopping plaza. It wasn’t cool and vintage, it was just gross and old. It was right next door to a seedy beachside bar.
I don’t drink, but I spent many Wednesday evenings getting hit on by those drunken morons. I was trapped in the laundromat. It was lit with harsh lighting and there was no air conditioning. The sound of the fans and dryers was maddening. The men next door would see me walk in and come over to ‘keep me company.’ And all the time, I was worried, wondering if I was going to die that evening.
One day as I was pulling out of the lot, I saw a very old man crossing the parking lot. He was using a grocery cart as a cane and limping. I couldn’t tell where he was headed, but I felt compelled to pull over.
I rolled down my window. “Excuse me. Can I give you a ride?”
The man looked startled. “Oh. I am just walking to the bus stop.” He gestured to the stop that was half a mile away.
“I really don’t mind giving you a ride. I’m sure you don’t live too far away.”
“Are you sure?” He looked very hesitant about getting into the car with me. Like I might be a serial killer (which is a legitimate concern as there was a female one in that very county).
“Yeah. I mean, as long as you aren’t going to murder me or something.”
He started laughing very hard. “Well, I think I am too old to murder anyone these days.”
“If only you were a few years younger, huh?”
He laughed even harder and then succumbed to a coughing fit. I decided to stop kidding with him. I didn’t want to be responsible for his death. Death by laughing.
He got in and I drove him to his place. He lived a few miles away. We had a pleasant conversation. He was very thankful for the lift.
When I pulled into his complex he turned to me. “I appreciate this so much. You’ve made my day. And my neighbors’ too. They’ll have plenty to say about me getting a ride home from such a pretty young girl.”
“Hopefully, I just improved your street cred with the ladies.” And I winked at him. Just so you guys know, I have the unsexiest wink in the world. I invented my own emoticon for it. ;V That’s the face I make when I wink.
I don’t know if he got my joke, but he laughed again, probably at my terrible winking skills. And I told him that I was at the laundromat every Wednesday and would be happy to give him a ride home anytime he saw my car there.
But I never saw him again. And I haven’t given anyone a lift since.