Oh my goodness, I had a near-life experience not two hours ago. I was at Crossroads mall enjoying a Starbucks beverage and a piece of milk chocolate when the urge to browse came over me. I walked into Pier 1 Imports and sniffed the candles. I strolled into Dress Barn but left because the store stank like nasty cigarettes (there are good-smelling cigarettes and bad-smelling ones. I have a friend who smokes Benson & Hedges and the smell never gives him away. I once walked by someone I had seen smoking Marlboro Reds and it smelled like she rolled around in an ashtray). I walked quickly by the Shoe Emporium and tried not to notice the gigantic red 50% OFF SALE NOW signs covering the windows in proper garish bomb shelter fashion. Browse indeed, but nothing did I buy.
On my way out the door I remembered that I had a check to deposit so I stopped by the ATM in the courtyard. There was someone servicing the machine so I thought I’d just grab an envelope and endorse my check while I waited for him to finish. As I was reaching for the envelope I kid you not his hand darted to his hip under his jacket and I bet you dollars to doughnuts he was reaching for a gun.
It’s entirely possible he was reaching for a key or something but in the millisecond of near mistaken-motive terror my mind went WILD imagining all the varied and outlandish things that could have happened at that moment. He could have pulled a gun on me, I could have been arrested, he could have pistol-whipped me, he could have been noticing a crime right behind me and shoved me out of the way before saving the day, he could have been reaching into his pocket to grab a piece of gum and then offer one to me. Truly, the possibilities were staggering and entirely entertaining. Once he finished he reassembled the machine and walked away. I deposited my check and drove back to work and here I sit.
I love it when things like that happen. I bet that guy has no idea he’s being featured in a blog today or that he nearly scared the living life out of me. He’s probably eating a sandwich right now with no thoughts whatsoever for nasty cigarettes or saving the day. I wish I could have written to detail how he pulled a gun on me and then how, using a series of complicated and archaic martial arts moves Jason Bourne himself would be proud of, I disarmed him and calmly went about depositing my money. No such luck.
Myself, being more possessed of a tendency to write about martial arts more than practice them, would most likely end up a mewling pile of tears if faced with a gun. My brain, though, is like every action movie you’ve ever loved playing at the same time all the time. This means that during the average conversation with me I’ve imagined at least three death-match type scenarios and at least one spy scenario while talking to you. I may be soft and squishy on the outside but on the inside I am a force to be reckoned with (and as such may be the perfect evidence in the argument that young children should not be exposed to violent movies. When I was 7 years old my favorite movie was Terminator 2: Judgment Day).