This is one of the posts recovered after a botched website move in 2013. It was originally written and published on June 7, 2012.
I did something reckless and decidedly out of character yesterday. I picked up a hitchhiker.
I was nearly home when I saw a young man on the opposite side of the road, thumb out. As each vehicle passed by him, his reaction ranged from throwing his arms up in the air, to stomping the ground.
I let him in, instructed him to put his seatbelt on, asked where he needed to go. I didn’t think. I acted.
I made a u-turn in the entrance to a gas station so I could head in the opposite direction. I pulled up beside him, moved my purse out of sight beneath my legs, put my lunch bag on the floor beside the passenger seat, and got my cellphone in hand.
“Plaistow. Thanks for the ride. It’s sure different here than it is in Hawaii.”
As I drove south on 125, the only thought I had was, “If my brothers knew I did this, they’d kill me.” Especially brother Jay, the police sergeant.
Matthew, the hitchhiker, was talkative. If what he told me is true, then I know more about him from that 20-minute drive than I know about people with whom I’ve spent a couple hours in nonsensical conversation.
???? He is the “black sheep” of his family.
???? His mom recently flew him back from Hawaii.
???? He contracted a staph infection after he cut his legs on rock in the Pacific Ocean, and ignored the new-to-me rule of always showering after exiting the Pacific. (Its warmth harbors and breeds staph.)
???? He’s a Deadhead, smokes pot, but not in NH (it’s legal in Hawaii, he said), does not use cocaine, had a beer earlier in the day but is not an alcoholic.
???? Uncle died last week, and dad died not long before that.<
???? Mom has breast cancer and is scheduled for a double-mastectomy down in Boston next week. He is afraid she will die.
???? He slept outside Tuesday night.
???? He is reading The Secret and The Bible. (I’ve read The Secret, so we discussed its intent.) He is currently reading Romans in The Bible, and is finding it difficult.
???? He was adopted into a Hawaiian family, and wears a beautiful shell strung on a thick braid of Samoan hair to represent the adoption.
???? His family is more likely to offer help when things are going well for him, than when they’re going poorly.
Right after he told me about the infection, and said how much his legs were bothering him, I asked if I could put a hand on his left leg.
He said, “You’re a hands-on healer? You do Reiki.”
I affirmed I was a Reiki healer, and he got a solid dose of it for most of the drive. (I followed up with a full, remote session last night.)
At the designated strip mall in Plaistow, Matthew got out, and asked if I’d wait and take him back to Epping with me. He said his mother lives in Lee, which is several miles north of Epping, so that would get him pretty close. I told him I’d wait.
I watched him ignore Radio Shack and the hardware store, as he walked toward a small grocery store. On his way, he paused at a pickup truck to speak with the folks in it, who appeared to know him.
He disappeared into the grocery store for a few seconds, then came back out and made a beeline for a white car parked across from the store.
A young woman got out, they hugged, she handed him a cigarette and a lighter, which he made use of while he shifted from leg to leg.
They glanced at my car, talked, and then headed toward the grocery store, where they met up with another man who looked to be Matthew’s age. They glanced at my car, then disappeared into the grocery store.
While this action took place, I was on the phone with friend Julie, who I had thought to call and tell where I was and what I was doing so someone would have a clue.
Her response: “Get your ass back to Epping. Now. Without the hitchhiker.”
She was right, of course. I needed that reality check. It didn’t prevent me from feeling guilt, unwarranted or not, over leaving Matthew there. I knew something was amiss at that point, though, and suspect he was acquiring drugs rather than a $1.00 phone charger.
When I finally got home, I sent an email to Annie, Deb, and Diane. I confessed to my reckless behavior, and acknowledged it was entirely out of character for me.
Annie replied, and suggested I had acted in an intuitive rather than reckless way.
I think it was a combination of both. I did not feel any sense of danger or unease until the “coincidental” meet-up occurred in that parking lot. There was no doubt he was suffering, as my right hand felt a scorching heat from his leg; something that can’t be artificially manufactured.
A day later, I have come to two conclusions:
1) I was supposed to help Matthew to the degree I did. I was supposed to meet him, for whatever reason.
2) It will probably be another 46 or 47 years before I pick up another hitchhiker.
Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker? If yes, what happened?
Do you recognize and pay attention to your intuition?