Time for a confession here: this story could be about me. I hear someone being attacked violently—OHMYGOD—it's my neighbor—she's being hurt—quick—I gotta do something. Whenever I hear the story about the Good Samaritan, I want to be that one good person who helps the hurt traveler. Stories like the one in Germany recently kill me—an actor lies down in the divider on the Autobahn, pretending to be injured. No one helps him. Proof of what? That no one cares for strangers any more? I think, if I were there, I would have stopped to help. I am confessing to a hidden hero wannabeism. Maybe I watched too many Westerns as a kid. Don't know where this urge came from exactly, but it's in me.
Once when I lived in a large apartment building in Japan, I heard a woman's screams and shouts of "Call the police. Help me. HEEELLLLPPP." And so I did. Called the police, that is. The next day, I was surprised when my front door was egged. Maybe my neighbor had been acting out an elaborate fantasy with her partner and I just wasn't in on it. Maybe I was too smug thinking I had done what was right. Hey—that must be it—like all the superheroes, I hate injustice and seek to right it when I can, sometimes to ill effect.