But then he noticed Hector’s bag still on the
floor. He sat
up and put his seat back in its upright position.
He looked out the windows and he spied Hector
sitting on a picnic table, his feet on the bench and his
elbows on his thighs, his hands together with the fingers
intertwined as he stared off into the distance.
Behind the rest area was a large field of grass
that easily could have reached to Jason’s chest if he
were to walk in it, and behind that started a forest.
Hector stared in that direction, and Jason imagined
him at that moment a dreamer, a poet searching for
inspiration or searching for words that would make his
inspiration a reality, something tangible.
got slowly out of the car, knowing that his legs would be
worse now than they had been.
He had to go to the bathroom, but he wanted to
check in with Hector first.
He took his first few steps very slowly to get his
walking legs back, and then he went over to the picnic
table where Hector sat.
He sat down, too, not saying a word, and looked out
at the grass and the forest.
amigo mío,” Hector said quietly.
“You have slept?”
have slept,” Jason replied.
“I slept pretty well, too,” he fibbed, not
wanting Hector to worry that he might be too sleepy to
is good,” Hector said, not removing his gaze from the
scene before him.
are you looking at?” Jason asked after a few long
do not know,” he said.
“I am not looking so much as I am thinking.
I never have seen this particular field before, or
that forest behind it.
I am wondering what kind of life there is right
before me that I cannot even see.
"In that grass must live many snakes, insects,
birds, perhaps even foxes and mice and other animals.
In the forest beyond, how many different creatures
are living their lives right at this moment, with no idea
at all that I am sitting here watching the edges of their
they do not care that I watch.
It does not matter to them because it does not
affect them. Why
are we trained to see only the surfaces of things and
people without regard for the life that is deeper than the
we learn to live life that way, we lose the opportunity to
see and feel the very essence of life, the very depths of
life that we only can guess at because we do not see
it’s too scary for us,” Jason said.
“Maybe if we were able to see the depths, we’d
lose our minds. Go
turned to him slowly and regarded him very curiously.
“That is a very wise thing that you say,” he
told Jason. “I
am very impressed with your insight.”
Jason said awkwardly, not sure if Hector was being serious
or was joking with him.
are welcome,” Hector replied, turning back around and
returning his gaze to the scene before him.
“The question is, though:
What is so wrong with losing our minds?
Just what are we trying to preserve by not losing
a good question. Sometimes
I wonder. Sometimes
the people that other people call ‘flakes’ seem to be
much happier than the ones we all call ‘normal.’
I think sometimes it’s good to be weird.”
“Personally, I would not be any other way,”
Hector said. “I
want to be weird always, for only in weirdness can we find
the normal. We
all are trained to see the world in certain ways, and that
keeps us from seeing the world as it really is.
And we create these carefully controlled façades
for ourselves that become so normal that it makes me sick
sometimes to see them.
In order to become ‘normal,’ people have
sacrificed their sense of play, their ability to have fun,
their willingness to try different things and to take
risks. It is
so very sad.”
in his car heading west, it's easy for Jason to feel sorry
for himself and mad at the world. But then he gives
a ride to Hector and learns life isn't as negative as we
sometimes see it. The friendship between this young
man and his 70-year-old passenger is an inspiring story of
love and of dealing with obstacles in life. It's a
story that you'll treasure long after you're finished
also available for your Kindle! Click on the image
for the book, or click
here to visit Amazon.