A strange thing occurred. I was driving on the interstate when I saw a man run into traffic. The other drivers swerved to get around him, but he was undaunted. As he pushed himself further into the roadway everyone, including me, had to slow down. Barely creeping, I could see he was terrified. He was crying, screaming– demanding that we know he was not crazy. He had no shoes, there were scratches and blood covering his legs. He tried to get into my car, but it was locked, I cracked my window and he begged that I let him in. That he needed help. I told him that I couldn’t let him in but I wouldn’t leave him. As I called 911, he climbed on top of my car. And he sat there. I was in the middle of the interstate, with a man out of his mind, sitting on top of my roof banging on it. Screaming. He would not be left. It took a moment for me to realize that this was not good. I don’t know what I thought? But suddenly the incredibly present reality rushed to the forefront. I could be hit by another car– this man could actually get into my vehicle. The good part? Just as I was slipping, just as I was shakily speaking with the police telling them my location I looked up and realized that 3 cars, 1 truck, and 2 eighteen wheelers had pulled over. Six humans were walking into traffic defiantly toward me. They reasoned with the man on my roof. They pulled him off and to safety. They spoke to him with kindness. They spoke to me with warmth. They stopped. They didn’t have to. A lot of cars just… didn’t. I’m grateful for them and to all of the people in this world who pause to help even in scary, uncertain situations. Being alive, and being concerned about the lives outside of our own, are such good things.
30-something Mississippi queer. Bleeding heart with a soft spot for honesty and oversharing. Conquering corporate America and my own insecurities– one day at a time.