Friday, July 23, 2010
TOO FAR TO WALK
First light comes early. By 5 am you can read a book. My wife and I have come to Maine to enjoy long, cool summer days with Coconut Grove friends.
Two of them have a boat in Camden Harbor. Last Wednesday we took it twenty miles north to the village of Belfast. The next morning something came up and we needed to retrieve our car, still in Camden.
These are small towns. There is no bus service. Belfast's lone cabbie told us,"I already have a morning fare". We were stumped until a cop joked, "You could always hitchhike". Despite Maine being the home of Stephen King I thought it was worth a try.
Francesca did not agree saying, "I haven't done that sinced I was 17 and even then it seemed like a bad idea". As I headed for the highway she joined me anyway.
Bless her heart.
As we held out our thumbs I began feeling a little stupid and a lot of vulnerable. I tried to rationalize the novel situation by thinking, "These are strangers passing us by. I'll never see them again".
Twelve minutes later a dry-wall hanger named Wayne slowed down. His smile invited us into his van.
As we drove south he mentioned, "I rarely do this but you two don't look like ax murderers". It got me thinking he could possibly pass for one.
But Wayne could not have been nicer, he went out of his way to drop us off at our car. He did allude to a darker side but added that he had been "off the bad stuff" for over fifteen years.
As he drove off Francesca asked, "Do you think we would have done the same thing for him". I paused then answered, "Probably not... but there are other Waynes in the world. Maybe one of them would help".