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6/4/08

The Hitchhiker

As we sat in the muggy weather on the front porch in the Fan, behind an iron gate with roses climbing, a bunch o' loud people with glasses sitting on porch rails and children playing on the sidewalk, climbing trees, drawing with chalk... a weathered guy with a knapsack and dog walked past.

He stopped for a split second- I saw him ask the children to squirt his dog with water. They happily complied, and the dog drank.

Later that night, I drove home and saw on the edge of the sidewalk: that man and dog, looking purposeful but lost. In the dark, I pulled over, car idling...

"Well, you got the wrong one in the family for directions..." I introduced myself... We pondered maps and highway exits... the lightening flashed and threatened rain.

I moved aside the child seats, the dog jumped into the back, he climbed into the front, and like sailors navigating unknown waters, we steadied our course for Broad Street and 64 West.

"I remember when you walked by... I was at a party." I volunteered.
"I'm trying to get to Charlottesville for my birthday, because it seemed like a good place to go." he said.

We rode in silence...

I pulled over near the exit.

As he opened the door, the light came on: "Hey, are you the girl with pink hair?"
I smiled.
"You just keep your hair pink. It looks good on you."
And with that, they left, and I slowly navigated home.

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