I’m struggling with a herniated disc right now. I was at our local representative Evil Empire (AKA Walmart) to pick up some Dream Bones and Community Coffee, those being the only two items that I can’t get anywhere else in town. I come out of the store to see the bus leaving the lot. I must have looked visibly distressed, b/c this man passing by stopped and asked what was wrong. Now, after traipsing from one end of Wally-world to the other, I was already in pain and the prospect of waiting for another to catch the bus was daunting. But I didn’t tell him anything other than I had missed the bus, darn it. He sympathized and walked to his truck. Then he came in a few minutes and inquired where I lived. When I told him, he offered me a ride home.
Now, I’m not normally in the habit of acepting rides from strangers, especially at Walmart. I covertly checked his groceries-no beer was evident, just food-and checked my internal warning system, admittedly not the best thing, but gut instinct will at least say, “hey, don’t go there”. Everything seemed normal. I said, “Thanks, that is very kind of you.” and followed him to his truck. He put my groceries in his truck and we proceeded to drive off.
On the way he told me about his daughter who was around my age who had just finished going back to school to get her degree in education. I told him about my newly discovered back woes and some stories from the library. We both agreed that Abingdon is a fine place to live. He said that if I’ve been in Appalachia since my 30s, I should just go ahead and now start saying that I’m from here. When we finally got to my place, he said it had been nice to meet me, I thanked him for the ride, and we parted most amicably. No creepy Deliverance music ever made an appearance.