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“Thank you. You saved my life.”

I’m going to keep this as short as possible because I need to shower. After that, I’d like to continue my Zerg-annihilating domination in Starcraft 2.

I worked out tonight. I finished at approximately 10:03pm. I started my car and checked my phone at 10:06pm. I took a left from Beach Blvd onto Rosecrans at approximately 10:10pm.

[I spilled my damn protein shake over my shirt while typing this blog entry at approximately 10:29pm.]

At 10:11pm, I passed the entrance of Clark Park. Going at 45mph, I passed someone who turned his head toward my car and stuck his thumb straight up. I passed him by about 20 or so meters before applying the car brakes. I signaled right and parked my car on the curb. I put on my emergency signal and started to study.

The man took a 50 meter jog toward my car. During this time, I felt the adrenaline rush as several thoughts ran through my head. Looking in the rear view mirror, I observed his physical features. I stared at his body language. I checked for any accessories he was holding. A backpack on his shoulders. A white shopping bag in his right hand. While doing this, I threw my workout bag and water jug into the back seat of my car.

As he got closer, I rolled down the passenger seat window and took my car off emergency brake. He bent down and we made eye contact. I saw a middle aged man holding a classic iPod with white earphones looking back at me. He appeared to be in his mid 40s.

I asked him where he was headed. He needed to go to Harbor. He asked if that was okay. He had a thick European accent. He had a partially chipped front tooth and his eyes were slightly baggy. He had short brown hair, almost buzz cut.

As we were making conversation, I maintained eye contact. I didn’t talk much. I asked him a couple of questions and told him to hop on in. He asked if he was to sit in the back, but I notioned for him to sit up front. I unlocked the door.

4 cars had passed us during this time. As he got in, 3 more cars witnessed hitchhiking. I took my car off brake, accelerated, and turned off the emergency signals.

[I want to play Starcraft 2, but I am officially in the writing “zone.” I guess I’m not as addicted as I thought.]

I asked him what his name was. Jorge told me his name. He had a firm handshake, but I gripped much harder than usual. I started making conversation.

He was from Hungary. He had missed his bus trying to get to some place in Harbor. Earlier in the day, he was at Sunset Beach. The beach is located between Long Beach and Huntington Beach. [I just looked it up on Google Maps this instant; I was under the impression that it was in west LA.]

The last bus ride was at 9:30pm and he had a long way to walk. He started his journey in La Habra and had been walking for over half an hour. Jorge has a sister in North Carolina. He is on vacation alone and is leaving at the end of August. He is going to San Francisco next week; he hears that it is the most beautiful place in all of the west coast. He studied a bit of English in Hungary, which was why we were able to communicate fairly well.

He didn’t talk much. I asked all the questions. His only question for me was where I was originally headed. He kept his right hand extended on the car window. I’m guessing he enjoyed the breeze. I further interpreted his hands and facial features as we drove. I wanted to find out if he had unforeseen motives or conflicts of self interest. I couldn’t figure it out. He told me that St. Jude hospital would be perfect place to drop him off.

At approximately 10:20pm, I arrived at the 76 gas station intersecting Harbor and Bastanchury. I asked him if this place was sufficient. He replied yes. We shook hands once more, and he gave a great, friendly smile.

“Thank you. You saved my life.” He said this and exited the car and closed the car door. He peered back in and blessed me to drive safe and have a good night. He proceeded to walk off.

According to my clock on my desk, I got home and walked into my room at 10:29pm.

This isn’t a story of hitchhiking. This isn’t a story of selflessness. This isn’t a story about being a hero. The theme of this blog entry is to tell all you readers that life is all about taking risks. I felt happy helping Jorge, and I felt even happier witnessing his positive feedback on my “kind” act. But, I abide by the quote, “The giver is the true receiver.”

More than anything, I did this for myself. I wanted to take a risk, as I have been doing for the past two years. I wanted to have a confrontation without knowing the outcome. Doing this allows me to grow and further discover who I am.

Do something you’re afraid of once every while. Do something that is story-worthy as often as you can. You only live once… make the most of it

It’s 10:58pm now, and the adrenaline dump is taking a toll on me. I’m starting to feel lightheaded, and I need to take a shower; it will make me feel a lot more comfortable. After that, I’m going to curb stomp Helions, Hydralisks, and Stalkers alike with my nerdy friends Bobby Verry and Andrew Yi.

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