My encounter with the man from jail.
Yesterday, I had a really interesting night. Let me start off with a backstory to give more context.
Last week, I was sitting on the Bart train, and there was a guy sitting in front of me. And on one of the handicap seats near the bart doors was a guy(i’ll call him Mike to make it easier to see) who looked a little rougher. He asked the guy() in front of me if he could use his phone to call the oakland correctional facility because he was out on parole. Or something similar to that, I was going to say yes, but then I changed my mind. Where i was positioned, the guy in the handicap spot would not have seen me because i was right behind.
Another lady comes on the train at the next stop, and the guy mike asks her if she can use her phone, and she says no.
On the next stop, a 40 year old guy, he looks like a regular guy in the suburbs gets on the train, and mike asks him to use his phone. The guy doesn’t even hesitate and says yes. So he sits next to the guy and helps him call the correction facility, the guy thanks him so much. So when i saw that happen, i was sad that I am prejudiced against people that went to prison, when they could just be a guy that is trying to change their life around… That was also one of the things we were working in Bible study also. Trying to help those in need.
…. Fast forward to today.
It is around 6:15pm, and the sun has just set in front of my parents house. I am currently washing both my parents car while they are away. As I’m drying the car I hear this guy shambling up saying
“please help me, I’m lost and I don’t know where I am at. Can you please, please give me a ride to coco palms”.
I can’t really see the guy or who it is, and I am a little scared. Mostly because I have no idea why a guy in the suburbs would be lost and need a ride. First thing, I do is stand back and size up the guy to see if i think he is dangerous and might be trying to rob/trick me. Actually, I just keep on asking him why he needs a ride, because that will affect whether i give him a ride or not. (if he gave me some thing that really warrented a reason, and not some suspicious answer).
He tells me that he came out of San Mateo Correctional Facility, and took Bart over to get to his mom’s place in CoCo Palm. Tells me that it is close, and begs for me to give him a ride. I feel like I am in a place to give him a ride, I am washing 2 cars in front of my house, and my work panel car is parked in front of the house also. I glance at his bag to see if i can check to see if there is a weapon or anything on him, because once i get in the car, I will be vulnerable.
He first asks me if he can go into the house and rest, and I told him no I can’t do that. Mostly because once i let him into my house, i’m not sure if i would be able to get him out of it.
I actually never said I would give him a ride, but i guess he assumed by the way i gave him a look, that I was going to. So I’m trying to figure out which car I should use to drive. I end up choosing the ford transit van. Mostly because the front is really tall, and there is only 2 seats, so i can make him put all his stuff with him in the front.
As we walk to the ford transit, he opens up the back sliding doors to check to see if there is a policeman or someone in the back. I thought that was really weird. But i think he is paranoid.
Anyways, I get in the car and he sits on the other side. The first thing he does is ask me 20 questions in 20 seconds. He kind of talks fast, like gollum in the Hobbit.
Says questions like “Are you chinese? you look filipino. This is a nice car, i don’t have a job, so I can’t drive a car like this. How much do you make? Oh no, i should not ask you that.” Then he sits back in the seat.
He had several more of these questions for the next minute. He asked so many that I don’t recall.
We are now maybe half a mile away, and he asks if i can turn on the radio. I turn it on and it is on sports. So he asks if we can listen to music, so the first station it goes to is a love song station. He hates it, and asks for some other music, so I choose Live 105. There is a muse song and he starts rocking and dancing to it. And randomly hits me with his elbows as he is dancing to it. I was getting a little scared that he might punch me while he was dancing.
As we are going, I am asking him for directions, and he says “turn left there, it is around there”. After that happens, I turn left, and I miss a turn here and there. I feel like we were driving around randomly for 5 minutes. Because he didn’t really know how to get to his place. I didn’t know how to get to his place, and all he said was that “it was close”. As we are riding along he starts saying other stuff that starts to make me think i should drop him off in front of the police station or hospital.
He was saying “I killed them viets, i might kill you, …. hahahahha, i’m just kidding”.
As we are continuing to drive along, I am missing turns because he can’t really tell me where we are going, and says stuff like “turn left you mofo(he uses the full word)”, and I want to drop him off and figure out where to go. However, I don’t want to pull out my phone, because he asked me if i had my phone one me, and I told him no. Mostly, because I needed to find a place to drop him off if he couldn’t find his mom’s house. It started to dawn on me,
- why didn’t his mom come pick him up, and what happens if she is not home.
- Will I have to take him home with me?
- I don’t want him angry, because I don’t know what angry guys do.
We continue driving, and he says he wants to call his mom to see if she is home. I see there is a pay phone sign next to this gas station. It is in a shopping market place, and I can’t find parking near the gas station. So I tell him, there a phone here, so he pops out of his car and says “come out with me”. I tell him, I’ll go find parking and come back. He goes off shambling towards the gas station full of people. So I drive maybe 3-4 rows over, because the parking lot is superfull. I sit there for a minute and contemplate what i should do next.
I end up deciding that there is too many red flags and that I should leave, because I don’t think we will find a way to the house. I am starting to feel really unsafe, and I did get him to a phone so he should be good. So i just leave him there, hoping that he figures out what he wants to do.
If he had only given me directions to the place, would I have continued to drive him. But with no direction, and him having a lot of ptsd, or mental issues. It was not a good idea. So that was my one try to show love to my fellow man.