It happened again yesterday afternoon. This time it was a guy I knew from high school. We haven’t seen each other or talked (offline) in 20+ years. Oh sure, we “like” each others pictures on Facebook occasionally and have complimented each others kids, but that is as far as our relationship has ever gone. Yet, he was the first person I thought of when I woke up this morning. Before I even got out of bed, I grabbed my phone from my nightstand and checked his FB page. I didn’t see what I was hoping to and got out of bed disappointed.
What, you may ask, was it about this guy that had me awake at night and stalking him in the morning? Let’s go back to yesterday afternoon. I was scrolling through my FB newsfeed and “48 minutes ago,” he posted that he was broken down on the side of the road… aaaaand, nothing. Not a single comment. This is a guy that was popular in high school, had a lot of friends, and was genuinely a nice guy. So I was surprised to see that there were no offers to help: “Hey dude, where you at? You need a lift?” or even offers of sympathy: “Damn bro, that sucks. If I was in town, I’d lend a hand!” I felt bad for him. It was triple digit heat yesterday and he’s kind of a big guy. I kept wondering if he was still sitting on the side of the road, furiously hitting “refresh” on his mobile app waiting for someone to offer to come help. Did he have to call a tow truck? How was he going to get to work today? How was his son going to get to football practice? Why didn’t his mom at least comment? Does his mom even have a Facebook? Wait, that’s irrelevant. Nevermind.
The point is, I felt for him. I always have this overwhelming desire for all to be right in the world. I tend to be overly compassionate. (Is that even possible?) My maternal instinct is in perpetual overdrive. Not just in real life, but in fiction, too. Books, television, and even movie characters get my sympathy. I get embarrassed for characters to the point that I bury my face in my hands, occasionally peaking through my fingers so I don’t suffer with them. Yet, I do. If I were a witch or comic book character, I would be an “empath.” I do not like surprises or practical jokes. I’ve always felt that a joke at someone else’s expense is not a joke at all. It’s just mean. I don’t like hidden camera shows or those horrible MTV shows. I do not like “Tosh.0.” I feel pain for the guys on “Jackass.” I want to take away the embarrassment, shame, and hurt from these people. I want to hold them, stroke their hair, kiss their forehead, and make them feel secure. I am the underdogs cheerleader. It’s a cruel, cruel world. But I’m not jaded. I’m the kind of girl that trusts until you give me a reason not to trust. I assume first that you are a good person until you prove otherwise. I have faith in God and man.
So there I was, at 6 o’clock this morning, stalking the profile of a guy, who for all intents and purposes is a practical stranger, hoping to find an update: “The car was a towed to a garage and I took a cab. I’m home safe with the wife and kids. Just rollin’ with the punches, ya know?” but, of course, there was nothing. Just his lonely post about being broken down “13 hours ago” sans comment. I thought about sending him a private message: “Just wanted to make sure you are okay. I saw you were broken down and I’m concerned for your well-being. Let me know you made it home safely!” but that would just be weird. And kinda creepy.
So, I’ll just sit at here at my desk, wondering if he’s okay, reading the news and suddenly feeling emotional for people I don’t know. It’s not the worst trait in the world to have. It has be better than being than being a sociopath or psychopath, right?