The Hitch Hiker
I saw a hitch hiker the other day- a severe looking girl in her twenties with pink hair, cut-off short jeans, a bunch of tattoos, torn camouflage leggings, combat boots, and a too small bright green tank top. I noticed her right away. She stood out from the usual homeless people that waited at the red light next to the freeway ramp. For one thing, she didn’t look homeless, or dirty, or crazy (relatively) or dangerous. She was vigorously chewing gum- with one of those disgusted expressions on her face that New Yorkers get when they have to wait in line for something. Then I noticed her sign. It was two words- very succinct- to the point- her sign said (I’m not kidding) F— YOU! I did a double take. Was it really F— YOU? Yes, Ia distinctly saw it and read it as plain as day. I have no idea what she was trying to achieve. Did she hate all of us who were driving cars because we used internal combustion engines? Did she hate us because we were successful and driving BMW’s and Mercedes Benzs? Did she hate us just on general principal? Or because I was a middle-aged white male with a Tommy Bahama shirt on? Was she one of the “Occupy Oakland” people? Maybe. We were near Telegraph Avenue- Main Street Hippieville, but something told me there was more to it than that. I started to roll down my window to ask her the meaning of it all, when the light changed I was compelled to drive onto the freeway. Should I have tried to give her money? Was that what she wanted? No, I don’t think so. I think if I’d have tried to press a dollar into her hand she would have probably given me the finger. I couldn’t risk the embarrassment. I drove on, past her, and onto the freeway.. but I thought about that girl all day. What was going on here? Are young people just pissed off at the whole world?