Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What do people expect?

I have tried to start each of my weekday mornings with a leisurely thirty minute jaunt at Coffee Emporium on Central Parkway. I spend the thirty minutes people watching, proof reading writings created by others or ripping through the pages of my current read, entitled, Freedom In this Village. This morning, I edited Chapter Four of the novel I am writing.


On my way to Coffee Emporium, driving, I crossed Liberty St. via Sycamore and at the intersection of Orchard and Sycamore streets, there was a man, who looked to be in his mid-thirties, violently waving down traffic that was moving south on Sycamore. The black S.U.V. just in front of me was hesitant to stop, but did so out of the kindness of their heart. Not passing the S.U.V., I waited to see if it was some sort of emergency. In reality, I was just being nosey. The man spoke to the driver through the passenger side window for only a few seconds and then the S.U.V. sped off, leaving the stranger in the middle of the intersection, thanking the driver with his middle finger. Seeing this, I had no intention of stopping and was thanked in the same manner, along with the white station wagon that followed.

What do people expect?

Even if you are in dire need of help (which didn't seem to apply in this situation), it is less likely that a stranger is going to offer you a hand to repair a flat tire or offer his services to help jump your dead car battery if they have witnessed you offending a person that does not or can not stop and give assistance. I know that it is frustrating not to get help when you really need it, but clearly the person was not a downtowner, and may have not been aware of how to ask for help.

In a more rural setting, the average Joe may be more willing to stop for an up-turned thumb than most downtowners would be. There is not a common look for a person who resides downtown, but this stranger's worn baseball cap, faded blue jeans and confrontational demeanor told me that he "was not from around these here parts". I am sure this is why the stranger was more upset than he should have been, but that didn't persuade me to for go my morning escapade at Coffee Emporium.

When in Rome...

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