Well…it was a week and a half ago, but who the heck is getting technical on a peaceful Sunday morning.
Trying to talk the munchikin out of making breakfast over the campfire. I just got the smoke out of my hair. We didn’t have s’mores last night…instead ate a family dinner at the new patio table. Which is much more comfortable than balancing a plate on your knees while in the campchair. But the ambience was not the same…I will admit.
Anyway, she wants that super-duper campfire breakfast from her super-duper mommy-chef-extraordinaire. And it’s pretty breezy out there…we haven’t had rain since Thursday afternoon (and that was only a little bit)…so technically we’re not really out of the woods yet. Ha ha. As if we’ll ever be “out of the woods.” Get it? “Out of the woods?” We live in the woods. Sometimes I crack myself up. What a hoot.
I’m trying to stall, because as much as I want to (knowing this may be the last morning) I’m also a bit wary of the breeziness out there.
ANYWAY… back to the irritation in my brain. This has been bothering me since the last day I went to work. It was a Thursday. I was just picking up a random day. Which is both good and bad. It makes for a VERY long day (over to Cheyenne and back plus the 10 or so hours in between). But then I don’t have to pack a bag and stay away for a night or two. Pros and cons baby, pros and cons.
But that’s life.
So…I stopped at the Starbucks on the way to the hospital. It’s just a couple of blocks away…oh so convenient for my expensive habit. When I walked in, standing at the counter, just finishing paying for his expensive habit, was one of the regulars. Now…I’ve seen this man for many, many months now. He’s always there (whenever I am…which is really only about 5 or 6 days a month, usually the weekends, but still…if I see him whenever I’m there, I’m assuming he’s mostly there). So…I’ve been seeing this dude for a long time…months…maybe even the last year? I’m not good with time…it goes wayyyyyyy too fast for me to mark. I usually see him sitting outside, talking to anyone who is walking in (sort of the unofficial, official Starbucks greeter). Sometimes…he’s just talking to himself. Do you see where I’m headed with this? I have to tell you that the whole “talking to himself thingy along with everyone else who walks in the door” doesn’t really inspire a lot of confidence in his mental state.
Now…I realize I could be accused of “mentally profiling” here, but seriously…the story to follow may help you to understand how I’ve come to my conclusions.
So, this dude is ALWAYS dressed the same. And remember, I see him 5 to 6 days a month, random days, some weekends, some weekdays, some holidays. He wears a black, long sleeve, pearl button closure Wrangler (I’m assuming) cowboy shirt, black Wrangler jeans, a black cowboy hat and black cowboy boots. (I don’t know the brand of the boots. That’s like when the husband asks me the make/model of a truck that’s come driving up the road–trespassing mind you–and I say to him, incredulously, “you want me to tell you who made the damn truck???” I can pick out that it’s a truck and it may be white or black or blue or red…but that’s about it. A truck is a truck. Cowboy boots are cowboy boots.)
I digress again.
The dude in black. I suppose he may be going for the Johnny Cash reincarnation thing. I’m not sure. Regardless, he must own A LOT of black wardrobe pieces.
OK. The “funny thing that happened on the way to work…”
About a month or so ago (again, I’m not good with time…could be a bit longer)…the dude added to his outfit. I noticed one morning, while trying to avoid direct eye contact because I just haven’t wanted to engage with this one, that he was wearing some sort of black vest thingy. Without trying to stare, I got the distinct impression it was a bullet proof vest. And then, at his waist, I noticed a gun. And on that vest were various thingamabogs and thingamajigs sticking out here and there. I didn’t stop to ask. I just kept going.
That first day (a while ago) I did ask myself “Why?” “Why on earth is that man wearing a bulletproof vest? And what are all those thingamajigs? And was that really a gun at his waist? Did I see a gold star on his chest? Is he a Texas Ranger? What century is this again? Maybe I need to get some more sleep.” And I went on my merry way.
The next day I saw him again. Wearing all the same accoutrements. Again, I avoided eye contact, walked briskly into my nirvana, paid for my salvation, and sashayed quickly to my car. This time the questions in my mind: “Nope, no star on his chest. Not a Texas Ranger. I checked the calendar yesterday…it’s 2013. I did sleep last night. Definitely a bulletproof vest. But aren’t those supposed to go under the shirt–not over it? Hmmm…things that make you go hmmmm….”
Over the next several weeks, same thing. Same dude, same outfit, same extra accessories.
So last week, he was at the counter paying (I must have been early…ha!). I quietly slipped into line. The dude in black walked over to the cream/sugar counter. A man walked up behind me. Then a few seconds later, another man joined us. This one said, not too loudly, but so that we (the man behind me and myself) could both hear him…”not a sight I want to see when I come into a Starbucks. That guy over there has enough ammo to blow us all away. I asked him why and he told me to “shut up you Democrat!!”
“Shut up you Democrat?????”
So here we have a person of questionable mental status (as evidenced by his talking to himself, becoming the “official” Starbucks greeter…) now decked out in a bulletproof vest, sporting enough ammunition to do some serious bodily harm, along with a gun (or guns), yelling at someone to shut up when asked why he has all that stuff on his person.
I am. Not the kind of person I want to see every morning I walk into my own personal version of heaven. Doesn’t really instill in me a sense of peace and tranquility. Doesn’t really make me feel very comfortable.
And then I get peeved when I think that my world is threatened by this bloomin’, blasted idjit. This Starbucks is two blocks from the hospital, and incidentally…one block from the Capitol Building in Cheyenne…and is incredibly convenient. It’s the prize after making it safely to Cheyenne at 5:00 in the morning. It’s the sword with which I gird myself to face the long day of dealing with cancer and sickness and depression and old age.
Best not to get me started on the whole “gun rights” bulls**t. This is ridiculous. And dangerous. And this person is EXACTLY the kind of person who should NOT, under any circumstances, have access to ANY kind of firearm.
Guns have a place. I understand that. But NOT on a mentally unstable person who is going to jump down someone’s throat when asked a simple question in a very public place.
Now where am I going to encounter nirvana?
Oh the things I must ponder…..