Saturday, September 11, 2010

i help

Left hanging by my freight company Wednesday night, I was stuck with 300 pounds of 19th century hunt cabinet on a pallet jack on the sidewalk. After griping at the freight company for not showing up and worse, not calling, I closed up shop and prepared to move the pallet back inside the building.

The ramp to the warehouse is crunchy with old concrete and I had been sick all day with some kind of respiratory crap that left me hacking and breathless at the least exertion. I pumped the jack to raise the pallet, trundled the massive thing to the warehouse door, lined it up to make a run at the ramp, and pushed as hard as I could. Nothing. I could get it to the ramp, but not over the broken lip of it. I hacked and coughed, pulled it back, ran at it again. POW! This time I hit so hard the monster jumped back at me. I released the pallet jack and doubled over coughing.

As I recovered, I noticed a couple of guys from the auto shop across the road watching me. I looked back, silver hair on full display. One waved, got in his car and left. I could see the big guy owner of that shop gazing at me from inside his building. No help. Many cars passed my corner, which intersects old Route 66. Lots of looks from passersby. I can imagine their thoughts as they roared down the road: "Dang, she thinks she's going to move that big ol' thing? Good luck, granny." Thanks, boys.

I pumped the jack again, ran at the ramp, BANG! Slammed that broken lip full force and came to a dead, bone-jarring halt. I just couldn't get past that lip. By this time I was so breathless from coughing, so worn out from the very long day and being sick, that I didn't think I could do it again. I considered leaving it on the sidewalk over night. Would someone actually make off with 300 pounds of jack and four huge boxes of hunt cabinet?

And then a shiny red pickup stopped in front of my shop. I didn't look too closely. People are always stopping at Jim Blue's Barber Shop next door. I pumped the jack, preparing for another run, and just as I began to push, a pair of brown hands joined mine and I looked up to see a friendly smile, and heard the words "I help."

And help he did. Together this kind man, who barely spoke English, and I, who barely speak Spanish, found the sweet spot on that ramp, moved the massive thing inside, and finished the task which moments before had seemed impossible.

I remembered my friend Marlene saying that the best way to get the attention of any man in Mexico is to sing out "mijo." In a restaurant in Yucatan, a woman's voice calling "mijo" will turn every male head. That seems so sweet to me, that the grown up men of Mexico will still respond to their mothers' term of endearment.

And so I slammed the garage door, turned to my good Samaritan, said "gracias, mijo" and winked. He laughed out loud and was still smiling as he drove off waving.

It was a wretched day turned lovely by a chance encounter with a generous man. I woke up this morning remembering how, in my earliest days of sobriety, I would make an effort to do something nice and unexpected for another person, and to keep it anonymous. I think I'll try that again. The world would be a gentler place if we could all live by those words: I help.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a perfect story Mija! Gracias.

September 11, 2010 9:25 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Gracias, Mija! So lovely to hear from you again and with a sweet story. How long until we can read about you in the land of the Mijos? x

September 11, 2010 9:31 AM  
Blogger Willym said...

Lovely cara, simply lovely.

September 11, 2010 11:17 AM  
Blogger LSL said...

Ah, this made my day. Thanks, Lynette. Hope you are well :)

September 11, 2010 5:27 PM  
Blogger ish said...

I'm always happy when your site pops up on my RSS feed. What a sweet story.

peace to you.

September 11, 2010 7:24 PM  
Blogger Marc Olson said...

Now that's my kind of story. Thanks for sharing.

September 11, 2010 8:39 PM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

Gracias to you, Miss Kamrin, for visiting.

Greg, how's your mother doing? I hope to permanently enter the land of mijos and mijas by early next year. So hard to get free of entanglements here.

Willym, sweet heart.

LSL, it made my day. Happy to pass it on. Hope you are well too.

Ish, thanks for that.

Marc, thanks for visiting.

September 12, 2010 8:50 AM  
Blogger NewMe said...

What a beautiful moment. It feels so good to read a blogger with her head on straight. Thanks for getting my blood pressure down a point or two.

September 12, 2010 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

Thanks, Lynette, for such a wonderful and sweet story. And the last paragraph was a gem; I had to read it out loud because the phrasing was so lovely.


September 15, 2010 6:33 PM  
Blogger Charlene said...

That was a wonderful thing. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

September 19, 2010 2:22 PM  
Blogger una aprendiza said...

Fantastic story with the perfect touch of sweet camaraderie.

Buena suerte getting off Route 66 and south of the border!

September 22, 2010 10:37 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

OH Lynette, you know how I love this culture and it's people......this was such a sweet story and says it all about why I do! Thanks for sharing it!

September 27, 2010 2:41 PM  
Anonymous Kary May said...

Just when I'm about to give up on humankind, God hurls one of these moments at me. I'm glad you had one. Viva Mexico!

September 30, 2010 9:55 AM  
Blogger Blog O. Food said...

¡Una buena acción del día, mija!

October 18, 2010 2:21 PM  
Blogger yvette said...

Now I will check where route 66 is and try to imagine the setting
and this is a glorious story for a dull and sad November start in South eastern France.Thaks a lot!

November 07, 2010 8:07 PM  
Anonymous ttv said...

That's memorable experience, sis...

November 16, 2010 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Michele said...

I really miss reading you hon. Lovely.

November 21, 2010 9:27 AM  
Blogger someoneyouusedtoknow said...

I enjoyed this post. Don't forget to pay it forward. It feels sooo nice!

November 29, 2010 9:31 PM  
Blogger Oso said...

I followed your link to this story from Dusty's (leftwingnutjob)and the use of mi hijo brought memories of a short post I'd written in response to the AZ immigration law.What was anger somehow turned into kind of a love story,since you express interest in Mexico this may have some meaning to you. If you have the time to read, I hope you enjoy it:


February 13, 2011 10:09 AM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

qué relato dulce, mija!

me hace falta, tu blog vacío.

March 29, 2011 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you not coming back?

I miss you.

May 07, 2011 5:49 PM  
Blogger D W JazzLover said...

Beautiful!!Just Beautiful...

June 05, 2011 1:50 PM  

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