Last night after soccer I gave a few of the kids a ride back home. As I drove down our street there was a car stopped in the middle of the road, making it almost impossible to pass on either side. So I slowed down, thinking he would move. He moved a little, giving me enough to room to squeeze through, but then a group of guys walked out where I was going to pass. I was a little annoyed, but I recognized one of them so I honked and jokingly yelled at them to get out of the street. Then, a guy on a bike who I've never seen before nearly ran into the front of my car. They wouldn't move. In fact, they almost ignored me completely. I decided the only way to make them move is if I started driving slowly to "push" them out of the way. It worked. But after I got through I felt a little uncomfortable. I looked in my mirror to see if they were laughing, but they weren't. I wondered if I had disrespected them and began to second guess my "good" connection with the neighbors. After I dropped off the kids I had to drive by the same spot. All the same guys were outside, but the car had moved. I waved and smiled, but they didn't respond. Not good.

Later on that night I heard a commosion in my front yard. I looked out my window and saw a girl passed out on my driveway. I went outside to investigate. I turned out she was a friend of one of my neighbors and had drank too much Jack Daniels. She woke up and tried to stand up but ended up falling flat on her face on the cement. I got her some water but she hit it out of my hand and it landed all over me. By that time about a dozen neighbors had walked by. Her friends pulled up the car but we couldn't get her in. Then one of the guys that I had an incident with earlier pulled up on his bike. He offered to help but told I him we were okay. He motioned for me to come over and talk to him. When I came over he explained that people "talk" in the neighborhood and that it didn't look good to have a girl passed out in front of my house, even if it wasn't my guest. He told me that in our neighborhood, people watch out for each other and that's what he was trying to do. I felt convicted. A few hours earlier I had him written off as a disrespectful gangster that could potentially be a threat to me. And here he was trying to help me by carrying this complete stranger covered in vomit over to the car. I was humbled.
Chrissy PadillaComment