Sunday, October 03, 2004

The kind of girls we don't want on the street

So I was on my way to the gym today rolling down Magnolia. I saw a woman walking with a gas can in her hand. I looked over and she said she needed some help.

Running out of gas. That always sucks. I had run out of gas the night before. I worked a bartend shift at Mad Art. I just got my car back and I wasn't thinking. In fact I was out of gas in my gas can for I had helped someone else out about a month ago and I never filled it back up. It was some old lady on Gravois next to her car. So last night I was lucky to have someone ferry me over to the gas station on Arsenal to put some gas in my can. Of course I have yet to refill it.

So I am stopped on Magnolia and this woman needed gas. I almost was going to tell her I got gas in my trunk, but I caught myself for I didn't. Offering gas instead of cash usually weeds out the sponges, bums and cons. The lies start to baloon when you have the gas can and the con still tries to get cash. I find that scramble of deceit amusing. Usually it is about a 20-30% con game when people ask you about car problems. But it sucks that people get passed by when they need help. I have jumped countless cars, given a drink to more than a few dry gas tanks. One woman nearly started crying over on Locust about six years ago when I gave a jump to her car that was full of kids. I have also received kind samaritan help from others. A man jumped out of the crowd in Annie Malone May Day Parade on Natural Bridge to replace my fuel filter as we paraded in front of Fairgrounds Park. I didn't need the help replacing the filter, but he enjoyed being the superhero in the situation so I let him do pull the filter off the carb. It was funny. We were the funny thing to happen that day in the parade. I also was given a lift on the Hill when my fuel filter clogged again, right across from Urzi's. A kind woman offered me a lift home. Actually she helped me push the cady up the hill and over to a parking spot. That was a huge help. I had groceries that needed to get to the fridge, I was running late too, so it was a big help. Now I carry extra fuel filters in my trunk with the proper wrench.

But I didn't have gas in the gas can. I still offered help. The woman got into my car and thanked me profusely. I figured I would be giving her a lift to the gas station. She was blonde, maybe late 30s, 40s. Hard to say. She was unassuming, but a bit ragged upon a closer look with big two gallon gas can in tow.

As she got stepped in the car she says, "I need two favors. I need some money for gas. And I could also use some money. Is there anything that I can do?" She eased into the seat and shut the door. I looked at her and I knew exactly what she meant. I told her I could drive her to the gas station, but I couldn't help her in with the money. I told her in a tone that I knew what she was hinting toward.

This woman was a hooker. A hooker was in my car. Great. It wasn't for sure for sure- like I called her a hooker, but I am not a fool. I was not in any real danger. She then asked me if I was a cop. I look at her and said "No. But I might as well be one." It was then silent. I didn't really want to talk to her or anything at that point. I just wanted to drop her off to get her out of my car. She was obviously going through some tough times. A bit tougher than I could do anything about. She was desperate. She then told me to drive her over to Grand and she could make her way back from there. I doubted she had a car or she needed to be anywhere in particular to be other than a busy street where she could get picked up. She asked me what I did and I was ambiguous. I sort of referred that I was involved with the law to keep her at bay. It was a safety issue for me to infer that I might be someone that she shouldn't try to mess with. I started rolling through all the stops so I could get to the gas station to get her the hell out of the car. She then asked me for some money for the gas "and I really could use about twenty bucks." I kind of looked at her. She knew she was pushing it.

I said "I could also use twenty bucks. I could really use twenty bucks. A lot of people could use twenty bucks..."

"Could I get some money for the gas?"

I hesitated for we both knew her game was evident, but I reached in my pocket and pulled out two dollars anyway.

"I will give you a couple of bucks which will get you where you need to go."

I handed it to her and she got out. I then thought that I shouldn't have even given her that. It must have looked awful too from the street. Ech. I felt a bit sorry for her, but she is not in a place where she can get help from me. The situation was nasty.

I need to keep that gas in the gas can next time.


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