Miracle Car, Miracle Man
I stood outside the convenience store after exiting.
A miracle car pulled up to the curb next to me. I call it a miracle because it was miraculous that it would run. All of its parts were culled from a hundred disparate vehicles. I saw bolts, baling wire, and tape in surprising places. A couple of pieces of the body looked burned. Or to be remnants of an explosion. It wasn’t loud, but it also sounded like special effects as the engine ran.
The picture I used in this description is not the actual car. Taking their picture would have ruined the moment.
A forty-ish man exited the passenger side. He fumbled with two large manilla envelopes.
From inside the car, a woman’s voice asked, “Are you warm enough? Are you sure you don’t want us to drop you somewhere else?”
He smiled as he managed the papers in his hands.
“I’m good. It’s my first day out. I’m not ever going back there. Never. I learned my lesson. Here is just fine.”
The driver was smoking, nodding his head, and laughing in appreciation of the enthusiasm and certainty with which the first man spoke those words.
I admit I lingered at that point, pretending to look for something in the pocket of my driver’s door.
It was obvious he was arriving home, wherever that might be, just out of prison.
The man walked over to the curb near the gas canister storage. A woman wearing only a jacket somehow got out of the car from the rear seat, as neither the door nor the seat seemed to move.
It was interesting that she had asked him if he were warm enough. When I say she was wearing only a jacket, I’m being literal.
She scampered up to him and gave him a huge hug. His face lit up like a sunrise.
“Are you sure we can’t take you somewhere? Anywhere you want to go?” She smiled up at him.
“No, thank you. I’m beyond good right here.”
He hugged her this time, his arms lifting her up in the air a little. She should have been very cold at that point.
I got in my car to leave, wanting to know his story.
He chose wisely, though.
Both for the hugs and for not getting back into the miracle car.
It MUST be fueled by hope as mechanically it’s an impossibility that it runs without suspending the laws of physics.
Maybe, just maybe, he provided the necessary hope.
There was something about the way he said he had learned the lesson that made me believe him.
I hope he’s safe and warm now, a couple of weeks later.
I didn’t know how to write this little story.
There’s no special ending, no words of wisdom.
It’s just a human moment that I was able to witness.
I wish I could hear the tone of his voice more in my daily life.