Where is my mind

back door barredA quote from one of my favorite Pixies songs…

Condensing an incident and the effects to a linear progression seems to lessen the effect in writing. The heft evaporates into the ether – but why is my body so heavy?

I went out for lunch – cheapest meal in town. Chicken burrito with rice, and tomatos and cilantro, and a fountain drink – $2.50, and drove there in what’s probably the cheapest car on US roads today – a used Hyundai accent hatchback. Ironies both in the state of Texas – the car is relatively fuel efficienct, and not the guzzling globe killer trucks that everyone seems to hold in such great esteem. The lunch – chicken burrito, no beef, and that makes it a total sacrilege here. (Honestly my refusal to eat Texas beef has had hostility hurled at me – what reason could I have to not eat it, I’ve been asked, “Are you a commie? One of those vegetarian faggots? What type of person doesn’t eat beef?”)

I’d ordered, and a man approached me as I paid by credit card. “Hey man, gimme 7 cents…” I didn’t point out the obvious about the even exchange of paying by card, and said “Sorry, don’t have any…”

That’s all the verbal interaction I had…

Then this guy went over to an elderly woman and would demand money, step closer, keep talking, demand money again, step closer to her, keep talking…. Finally she started to scoop up her bags and then slide down the booth seat to get away from him, leaving her own food sitting on her table and tray uneaten.

He left empty handed from her and then went to the last patrons, 2 construction workers that brushed him off as well before he went into the parking lot to get folks as they get out of their cars. Since he was out of the restaurant, I mentioned to the cashier that this guy was harassing customers for money and he said with a smirk, “Yea, I saw that…” and wandered off into the kitchen.

My food came up, I took it and sat down with my book. Two bites in, the man returns, and beelines straight for my table and starts again, “I know you’ve got money, you rich fucker, you rich lying fucker…”

I left my food, picked up my book and went to the counter and asked for a manager. She came around the counter quickly and I’d started to tell her what this guy was doing when a woman that had been sitting at a table covered in food wrappers jumped up and came rushing at me, arm outstretched and finger pointing and screeching.


The guy followed closely behind her, and finally the manager and another member of kitchen staff came out, told them to leave or they would call the police. They exited the restaurant, glaring over their shoulders and went towards their car. Both the manager and myself noticed that the windows were down on the car, and nothing could be seen inside the car – very unlikely that folks living in their car would have so little in the vehicle and be so relaxed about leaving the windows down and unprotected.

I waited for them to drive away, then thanked the manager and started towards my car. It ends up they’d just circled the parking lot and when they got back around, the man jumped out the of car and pulled out his gun. I turned around and he pointed it at me and said, “If I see you again, I won’t just kick your ass, I will fucking kill you, I will fucking END you…” got back in his car and drove off.

This isn’t the first time I’ve stared at the business end of a gun – the first time was in Chicago, a totally different story – but I was glued to the spot. I watched as they actually pulled out into traffic this time, and sped off.

I went back inside and then called the police, for all the good it could do – meaning none.
The worst part is getting blamed for this situation. My folks got upset and another friend sort of barked at me over it – I know they were just worried, and it comes from a good place, but it really bothers me that someone would think it’s my fault. I was taught to do what was right – what if that was my grandmother? or what if that was ME when I’m 80?

I didn’t confront these people, and tried to be quiet and just let the manager know what was going on. She had no clue, and the cashier couldn’t have cared less. I just didn’t want what was happening to me to continue to happen to that grandma again, or to any other new customers, but it’s like having flashbacks now – I’m right back where I was 2 years ago. I wake up in a panic after a few hours, and my mind starts racing, and I’m emotionally turned off to everything. And I’m tired. I know it will pass, it’s just that this is where my mind is now. I’d rather have control over my own life – coming and going shouldn’t be in the hands of some drugged up psychopath. But most folks don’t get to choose their own doorway.

Unfortunately the work day has started, and my phone is beeping in my bag (I’m ignoring it) and emails are piling up.

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