I had an interesting encounter the other morning.
I was out enjoying a pleasant morning run. About 30 minutes into it, I was happily loping through Mouse Town when I noticed a car pulled over a short distance ahead, and realized it had just then stopped.
As I approached, I saw someone get out. I wondered if he was having car troubles or personal medical troubles as he looked a bit weary. Then he sort of crawled along the ground behind the car and I was leaning toward personal medical trouble at that point.
But no, as I got even closer, I saw that he was looking at something underneath the rear of the car. He stood up just as I was alongside and asked, "Do you know the name of this road?"
"Yes, this is [Mouse Town] Parkway", I replied.
Then he launched into what could reasonably be called a major rant. Not at me. He was just clearly Fed UP. I just stood and listened to him as I felt he just needed someone to hear his tale of woe and let him vent it all out.
Over the course of a very loud, animated, R-rated narrative, I gathered that he had signed on with a temp agency. The temp agency told him to go to a Lowe's store to work. He arrived promptly at the address from the temp agency where he was then told he was needed at a different Lowe's instead - the Lowe's up near Mouse Town.
I don't think he's been in town for very long. His broken car had Florida license plates, and he was a bit unfamiliar with the area. He was about two miles from Mouse Town Lowe's, but headed in the wrong direction.
My impression of him was that he's a good guy, but this was the final straw in a long line of straws. I also gathered that he's the type to wear his emotions on his sleeve - making him a bit prone to such rants - and I would bet that when things are going well, he's probably a very fun and giving person to have around. I genuinely felt bad for him.
But I didn't have much to offer. I was just out for a run - no car, no phone, no nothing. So I just listened and tried to be a comforting presence. "Those sons-o-bitches!", I didn't actually say in reference to the bleeping temp agency - but I think he felt my commiserating attitude.
At one point he said, "I'm ready to kill myself!", which was rather an alarming thing to hear.
"No, really, I wanna meet my maker!", he went on. "And you know what I'd do when I met Him?"
"Uhmm, punch Him in the face?", I ventured a, hopefully comic relieving guess.
"I'd walk up and shake his hand and then 'THIS is WHAT i THINK of YOU!'", as he punctuated each syllable by throwing punches in the air, very near my face. And I thought that I probably shouldn't have planted that particular idea...
Realizing I was having this conversation while traffic continued to flow past, I began wondering what it looked like to the motorists. Some may have assumed that we were having some sort of couple's spat that had moved outside the car. So I made a point to smile and keep my movements and facial expressions light so as to not cause alarm.
I'm not sure if it helped explain things, but no one stopped.
He eventually seemed to calm down some. I really think he just needed to vent it out and then he'd be okay to deal. I asked if he had triple-A, and he said he did. He also had his phone in the car. We said our good-byes and I sincerely wished for his day to get better. I like to think that AAA showed up quickly and things turned around for the guy.
As for me, I finished my run. I rejoined the pathways and the others out for their morning runs, feeling rather light-footed and carefree after the encounter.
Never a dull moment in Mouse Town.