He was hobbling along the track, legs lumpen, feet dragging, body slumped, he was done In. The loosely tied backpack at an awkward angle over his shoulders, swung uncomfortably. As I drew up and stopped, his face turned and his expression showed he was at the end of his tether.
“Do you want a lift?”
I opened the door, “Hand me your pack.”
It slid easily off him and I tugged it inside. Though large, it was light. He was pretending to be carrying everything, but only had jumpers and coats in it, the rest must be in a suitcase being taxied. He found it difficult to step up so I grasped his large hand and pulled a little too enthusiastically. He fell across the padded bench, head just missing the steering wheel but kissing my crotch. Embarrassed, he sat up with a jolt and fixated on the seatbelt.
As we drove towards his hotel for the night, we talked about the long walk he was undertaking as one week stages due to work. He told me he was professor of Comparative Health Systems at some salubrious southern USA university, which prompted and interesting discussion about various ways healthcare is provided worldwide.
Finally, I asked about Trumps’ destruction of ‘Obama Care’ and this triggered a tirade of rage, not against The Big Fat T, but Mr O. I made the point that those on low income needed health support, and of the poor suffering and dying from easily curable conditions.
He blew up, “The poor are lazy. Look, I’m successful, I worked hard. They deserve nothing.” His tirade went on as we wiggled about the roads and finally found his plush hotel. As he stepped down, I stuck my hand out to shake his, “This, Sir, is Obama Care, it cost you nothing, it eased your suffering and got you safely to your destination.”
Without taking my hand, he stormed off and didn’t thank me.
That, I’m afraid, is what we are facing as we try to get the world to accept the dire necessity of action again Climate Change.