my kinda hero

fuck the cape.
yesterday i met a real live hero.
i did.
i was on my way to samaki smoked fish in port jervis (which is the coolest place in the world if you happen to love smoked fish, and probably not the coolest place in the world if you’re a vegetarian and or don’t like fish or smoked fish for that matter) when my rear tire blew.
it just fucking blew.
for the record i am not a car girl, i am not good in situations that require jacking up a car, lifting up a car, or changing tires.
i’m the kinda girl that would sputter over, pull over, lock the car and then call and/or hail a cab. But being married to ken this is not something i do anymore. i don’t abandon cars, and then get my nails done.
i pulled into (actually, truthfully, sputtered into) turkey hill gas station – which is both a gas station and a convenience store, you know like a seven-11. i called ken, who was extremely sympathetic and on the other line, so he quickly told me to call triple AAA but first find out if maybe, possibly the tire needed air.
fyi, i don’t do air either.
there at the gas pump was a lovely man, minding his own business when i approached him. HELLO! hi there! i asked him if he could possibly, maybe, if he had the time, if he could help me. please, oh god please….help me.
he said sure, no problem.
the cashier – a lovely women in her 30’s – came out and asked if i needed anything.
no, thank you, i said.
kindness, i swear, it’s everywhere.
the nice man came over and examined the tire and said nope, it doesn’t need air, it’s flat. do you have a spare?
uh oh.
a spare?
maybe, i said, feigning intelligence. i bet it’s in the back of the car.
yes, there was a spare.
he lifted the spare, found the jack next to the spare (who the fuck knew?) and proceeded to remove the flat tire and replace it.
i’m gonna spare you (no pun intended) the details of the jacking up and removing and replacing.
here was a guy, filling up his car with gas, when all of a sudden appears a damsel (okay, an older damsel) in distress. it was a hot day yesterday, hot and humid, and a major storm was brewing. i was on my way to the shoe repair place, and samaki smoked fish. i wanted new soles and new heels, and a hunka smoked salmon. simple dreams on a hot sticky day. and the shoe repair man, joe, is just, you know… a craftsman/cobbler. truly, an artist. a show artist. he can take a pair of old shoes, and poufff… make magic.

but then my rear tire blew.
i’m not a very patient person. i’m kind & generous & loving & complicated…but patient, no.

this guy, this man, this person… not only seemed to have all the patience in the world, he seemed to have a huge heart. i asked him what he did, he told me he worked as a correctional officer at the orange county jail. he talked about his ‘beautiful wife, and two kids.’ he talked about just coming off a vacation, a good fun vacation. i told him that he was like a real live hero… but without the cape. he laughed. a good strong hearty laugh.

it was hot and sticky and a storm was brewing. my tire blew, and it could’ve turned into a shitful, oh my fucking god kinda day. but instead i caught a glimpse of generosity and humanity and kindness and goodness and it just filled me to the brim.

i handed him some money and he refused to take it.
he said he tried to do good every single day.
boy oh boy did i get choked up.

his name is chris.

he’s a real live genuine hero kinda guy, and i’m thinking that it’s not that he doesn’t have the cape & tights, it’s just that real heroes, everyday heroes – the magic makers, and life savers, and the miracle workers – are really simply folks like you & i.

we can all be the good in some strangers life.

Category: Uncategorized 4 comments »

4 Responses to “my kinda hero”

  1. Steven inza

    Amy, your stories make my heart full of smile.

    Today, my heart smiles, BIG <33333333

    Thank you,
    Amy "Heart Filler" Ferris

  2. kristine

    Hero, with a capitol HE! Love a man with manners and chivalry and kindness. You know what they say…”You get what you give!” See you are the sHE in Hero, so it doesn’t surprise me that you attract them as well. Think how many people have told you that you have made their day.
    Thanks for sharing…I am out to spread some goodness!

  3. Maya

    Yup, that’s a hero.

    A number of years ago, I went to Fred Meyer (everything store in the PNW). She was sitting on the concrete bench outside, this young woman, tears streaming down her face. Her tears seemed to just *terrify* some people; others gave her a disdainful look–still others scurried off to another entrance. I almost walked by. I most often feel I’m about strong enough to handle my own self and that’s about it. But how could I? How often had I been about 5 minutes from being a sobbing woman on a concrete bench?

    I sat down and waited. After a time, after she’d adjusted to my being there, I asked her if she was okay. Turns out, she had an episode so full of rage that she had fled, fearful of hurting her three year old. I told her that actually made her a Very Good Mom because Very Bad Moms stay and hurt the baby. The little one was safe, but she was sure her family was terrified. So we sat, and I listened, then I asked if she had money–no, she didn’t. So I gave her $100–enough to eat and get a motel room overnight.

    “Get some food, get a shower, get some sleep. Then call home,” I told her. “Then forgive yourself for being human, be proud that you didn’t hurt your little one, and find someone who can give you some help.”

    We hugged, she promised to do that, and she walked away.

    Being a real human to another human isn’t that hard. And most people aren’t scary. They just need help.

    I am glad you found your hero. His gift to you–not just the help, but the knowledge that you aren’t alone in this world. Your gift to him–letting him help and also letting him know that he is a treasure and a hero.

    Life is sweet.


  4. June OHara

    I so enjoy your writing. And such a lovely tale.

    Three things I especailly loved: leaving a car to get your nails done. Laughing!

    I don’t do air. (Neither do I. I beg and attendant with offers of cash.)

    Feigning intelligence. (Tell me about it!)

    Thanks for starting my day off on this note.

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