Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Recently I made a quick trip through my hometown on the last Friday of summer. My plan was to see mom, family, and maybe a friend or two. I chose not to call ahead because mom always makes such a fuss when I come to town, that choice meant I didn’t get to see mom as she was off with her friend for their Friday adventures. I did get to see and briefly visit with my nephew and a longtime friend.
At one point in my whirlwind tour of Kerrville, Texas I was obliged to stop at the local grocery store, HEB, where my shopping enjoyment was interrupted by a walking, talking memory, for in the isle ahead of me stood one of the bullies of my childhood. I recognized his face and his voice as he spoke to his companion, but I still cannot recall his name. Surveying him from head to foot I judged that life had not been kind to this bastard from my early years. His clothing was dirty perhaps from a job best done outdoors and he was lean, but no longer strong looking to my mature eyes.
My posture straightened and my shoulders squared. I am not a small man and while I am heavy there is a fair amount of muscle lurking beneath my soft cuddly exterior. I now know that the man before me would pose little or no threat to me physically.
We locked eyes for the briefest of seconds, my green to his mud brown. Then he turned, walking away, still speaking to his friend. I seem to remember he always had friends with him back in the day. I think it is safe to say he most likely did not recognize me for the years have certainly taken liberty with my body.
As I drove towards home later in the day I found myself thinking back to my grocery isle encounter. I entertained and enjoyed the thought that in that briefest of stares he saw a man he did not want to trifle with.
He also never knew he was a Nano second away from the beating he should have gotten 33 years ago.