Thank You

Please sit back and use your imagination for just a few minutes. This is an exercise in gratitude. Everything we need, we already have.

As you’re driving down the street from location A to location B the gas light on your dashboard begins to flutter and flash. Even though you’ve been as careful as possible the inevitable has arrived. Soon you will be out of fuel. Oh yes, if you don’t go to a gas station right now it might all be over and this is why. The vehicle that you’re driving has expired plates and no insurance. On top of that, your driver’s license has been suspended because you didn’t pay the three tickets that you got a few months ago in another vehicle. Now it gets worse. The consequences of not paying the tickets and going to court? A bench warrant has been issued. What does all of this mean? If you run out of gas or break down on the side of the road you’re done. You see that’s how it works. The time that you don’t want or need a police car to serve and protect, they will surely stop to help. Of course before offering any assistance the officer will ask for your identification, registration, and proof of insurance. A few moments later a second cop car will arrive. In case you didn’t already know this fact, a second car always equals an arrest. Yes, it’s back up because you have an outstanding bench warrant. Oh and in case you forgot, everything that you own is in the vehicle and if the police stop you, it will be impounded. Of course, you’re driving because you don’t have any place to go or park. Seems like only yesterday that you had a home and friends, but now it’s all gone and nobody will even allow you to park at their house. What you don’t yet know is this. Throughout the next three winter seasons, every single person that you call friend, including the people that you haven’t yet met, will close the door to you on a cold and snowy night. At first, it will be completely baffling and you won’t be able to wrap your mind around something that seems very cruel. Eventually, this pain will be replaced by something else. You will soon be transformed into someone emotionally untouchable. A person that can and will level-up above and beyond resilience. A person who will heal from emotional pain long before your heart has an opportunity to shed the first tear. But that hasn’t yet happened so let’s continue, shall we? If your ride breaks down, you are f****d. The best option is pulling into the closest gas station. Without checking your wallet or looking for a change (you’ve done that) you already know that you’re worth about $3.58, and that’s in change. No quarters, just dimes, nickels and pennies. Luckily you learned long ago that pride isn’t real, but only a thing that destroys families and relationships. After a centering moment, you get out of your car and hurry to the door. The last thing you want is Mr. Serve and Protect pulling in for coffee and checking your plates. Several people are exiting as you approach the glass doors, and a kind, smiling elderly couple holds the door for you before you can do the same for them. You smile and give them a sincere thank you. The temperature outside is deadly cold, but the warm smiles of the patrons warm your heart, and you’re confident that it’s going to happen again. Pushing the knowledge aside, you approach the counter, humble and thankful for the kind people in this world. Names you don’t know, faces you haven’t seen, but at times it feels like they know you. The person that paid for your gas didn’t know your name or anything else about you except that you needed assistance. Once again, a gas station clerk informs you that you have been awarded a small miracle. Not in those exact words, but something close. He or she tells you that another customer, paid $15 towards fuel for your auto and that they just left, walking right past you. After many thanks to the store employee, it’s time to return to your vehicle before? Yep, before somebody checks the plates! By the way, the plate thing is a 24/7 head on a swivel, never-ending job to prevent losing what little remains. Don’t worry though, nothing that you have now will last much longer. Your path of choice requires everything to be stripped away before anything can get better. Imagine how much easier your life will be without anything except the clothes on your back and what fits into a medium-sized backpack.

The ones that were there for me came out of nowhere. They showed up when I needed them the most. Thank you all so very much. From my heart, thank you.

Joseph Shanklin

Spring, 2019

2 thoughts on “Thank You, From The Universe University Series

  1. Having a second cop show up doesn’t always mean arrest. I’ve had a second cop show up a couple of times. Each time I’m thinking “this is not good!”, but I was let go with a ticket or a warning. Maybe it’s a girl thing…cops wanting to check out the pretty girl that just got pulled over?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I was a cop (and they would never let me) I would definitely show up for a pretty girl, protect & serve & flirt! 😎 . I have a record for drug convictions, so I get the entire block surrounded 😦 Thank You very much for the awesome comments! -Joseph

      Liked by 1 person

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