Monday 20 July 2015

What I Learned This Weekend.

I scoffed, shook my head and turned on the wiper blades to erase the crude message. I had things to do and wanted to get going, I didn’t want to pay any mind to nasty notes written in rain.

What am I talking about? It had rained on Friday but by the time I returned to my truck it had stopped. It was still covered in those rain droplets all over it, again not a concern as wind and windshield wipers will make quick work of them. 

There, on my windshield, written with a finger wiping away the droplets were two words, one above the other: “F*ck You.” You can guess what letter the asterix stands in for. They took the time and care to write that message backwards to them so that it would be forwards to me as I sat in the drivers seat.

I went about my Friday errands: I checked my two mailboxes, did my laundry before arriving at my western home. Even there my usual spot was taken up by three motor homes. I ended up parking in a forlorn spot way across the parking lot; that’s life.

That was when I saw it; that was when I noticed the other part of the message from the windshield. My back, passenger side tire of Wanda was flat, as in zero air pressure flat. I checked for damage and found none. 

So I fished out my electric air pump and pumped the tire up as I listened for hissing and felt for air, again I found no hint of any damage. It was simply that someone had let the air out of my tire, as in all of it, down to zero air pressure, and I do mean zero. 

Someone hated me enough to take the time to be thorough in their deeds so as to let me know their hatred, but not so far as to do actual damage. The words were not carved into my truck or spray-painted on. Neither was the tire punctured or slashed, just the air let out. Again, even if I knew who did this, this would be a misdemeanor at best, barely worth a cop’s time to arrest or ticket them.

Why had this been done? What was my offence? I remained parking in my nighttime spot during the daytime, that’s it. I was parked where someone else wanted to be, and expected the place to be clear. At least that is my best guess. I could speculate and guess, but in truth, I don’t care.

Why was I parked there when I usually wasn’t?  Since Friday was an early day I wanted to see if I could just leave my truck and trailer in one spot. I would be moving it by two in the afternoon and if this worked out I might just leave my truck parked there. 

I assure you that I won’t do that again but here is where I learned the first two lessons this weekend. For one, always keep moving when parking on the street, that way people will get less angry with you. The other was that I should have taken the time to do a walk around as soon as I saw that message on the windscreen.

Saturday morning I was asked to move by some hot dog vendor, because I was blocking the view of his potential customers. I moved even though I arrived the night before and was there when he arrived that morning. I didn’t need to be right there, and in truth was thinking of moving anyways. I was able to find a spot in my usual spot, so that wasn’t bad.

The rest of the weekend went fine and I relaxed as I still pondered on what to do with this chapter that won’t come. It is looking as though I may move on to another version of book two, just so I can nudge the storyline in a slightly different direction. 

The other niceity came at four-thirty this morning while I was dumping my tanks and filling my water. A man approached me with a sob story that I suppose we here in Alberta should get used to hearing. He came out here for work but the project was cancelled so he was left out in the cold, literally; he was sleeping in a park. 

He was talking me up with that sad look in his eyes as he put his bag down at my feet; a sign that my fate was in his hands. He didn’t even take the hint when I replied that I lived right here, pointing to Wanda, after he asked where I lived. I clarified and explained my situation, still he stayed. 

His eyes just lit up; as he stood there he pondered the possibility of me taking him in. He didn’t say it, but I could read it in his eyes. I told him I had no cash to give yet he still stuck around, trying to work up the courage to ask me something. 

He was mumbling something about food, I was starting to tune him out. I eventually gave him the contents of my coin holder from Treabilla and continued working. He finally did leave as I was finishing up, but he was disappointed. 

I get it that he is falling on hard times but I can’t afford to adopt anyone. I am trying to get my own life back on track. A life partner is one thing, a partner, an active partner in my life would be one thing, but a stranger? A passenger? Dead weight? No.

The last thing I learned this weekend was this: know the limits of your charity. Know what you can and can’t do. It is okay to say no to something that you can’t help with. The world is not your problem. If you can help, great, do so. 

I help all sorts of people in little ways all the time, most times without being asked and expecting nothing in return. I most certainly will not take in a total stranger and trust them with everything I own, nor will I be made to feel guilty for leaving him in the condition that I found him. 

As far as me, I am still pondering where to park, as I don’t know where to go, but it would be wise to avoid that stretch of street. I do not own the street and in the end, I just don’t want the trouble. I am mobile, so mobile I will be. I can and will find another place to park, 

Also I will remember to: 
  • Keep moving every twelve hours (unless in a parking lot) 
  • Do a walk around each time I plan to move my vehicle.
  • Help people when I can, but know my limits and stay within them.

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