Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Didn't sleep for crap last night. I was tormenting myself trying to figure out if I did the right thing or not. I have been cursed with a conscience that can't, and won't, accept my decisions as right and final.

Last night, after work, I stopped by a gas station to gas up the bike. Filled her up, and start to take off, when a woman comes out of the darkness waving her arms, yelling, "Oh, please help me. Someone, please!" I look around, and check to see that there isn't someone else out there waiting in ambush, and stop. I hate being so damn nice.

She starts telling me that she needs to get to her son. He's dying. She's been walking around and no one will help her. The lady at the gas station won't help her, and she's supposed to be her friend. Will I please help her? Her feet are tired and sore. (She's wearing what used to be dress flats.) No one will help. God will see to it that I'm blessed if I would help her. Her son really needs help, and she has to get to him.

I try to calm her down and make sense out of her gibberish. Doesn't work too well. I ask where her son is at. "He's dying of AIDS, and he's hemorrhaging!" But where is he? "I need to get to him." By now, I'm starting to feel a little worried. I can't keep watching all sides of me, and I don't like it one bit.

"Did you call an ambu..?" "She won't even help me, and she's supposed to be my friend!" (pointing at the station) "Please, sir, help me!" Where was I to take her? Just off of W. State street.

If you were to know Rockford, you would know that W. State is not an area for a white face to be at night. Very bad idea. Especially when you are on a bike that isn't really known for it's stealth qualities. You draw alot of attention. My brother and I rode through there, at night, a couple of years ago, and had some idiot start trying to chase us (on foot) while sceaming pleasantries at us. There are some very good people there, but it's the bad ones that worry you.

I told her that I couldn't do it. She starts crying (without tears) and starts to beg for help. Even though there are no tears, I feel bad. But I still don't feel that this whole thing is a good thing. As a matter of fact, I almost know that it's a bad deal. But I can't help from feeling bad as I tell her that I couldn't do it. She starts to cry even louder (still no tears, oh wait, there is one) and asks again. This time I tell her that I won't do it. She says, "bless you, sir," and limps away.

Even though it felt like a hard slap of guilt, I rode away. But the whole ride home, I'm analyzing things and second guessing myself. It's not that I won't help someone in the middle of the night. I've done it before, and while my head is on a swivel after I stop, I always feel good. It wasn't because she was black, although I had to rethink that a couple of times. Definitely not the case. It all came down to a feeling. Something was not right, although to see this woman, you would never think that she would pull some stunt like that. But then again, that would make it perfect. What killed me was "bless you, sir."

My hope is that if she really needed help, she found it. And I hope that I will be forgiven.