Author’s Note: If you have not read the first post in this series then all the rest will make no sense at all. Please click here to take a quick look at Just Write Something Damnit! — Day 1
Last Night I went to Walmart. I needed to load some money onto a prepaid card so I walked in and went directly to ‘services’. I’ve made hundreds of trips to this particular Walmart. The only thing different was that this was the first time I’d done so since the mass murder at the Walmart in El Paso.
It was the end of a long day and my mind was pretty vacant. Thoughts bounced aimlessly around my head as I stood to wait my turn in line. The ‘services’ desk is right next to the main entrance so I was mindlessly people watching while I waited. Men and women, young and old, came and went through the sliding doors.
A middle-aged man walked in. He looked a little lost and stopped about five feet inside the door to look around. If I were to describe him in one word it would be ‘unkempt’. He was scruffy, looked like he’d had a much rougher day than me, and had something tucked under his right arm that I could not quite make out.
Mind On Fire
My mind jolted and my eyes danced around the space surrounding me. The following were my immediate thoughts:
The mother and her two children in front of me don’t see this guy at all. Tell them to run behind the counter and try to crawl into the storage room from there to hide. Tell the cashier to get down and tackle the older woman on her phone into the corner so her and I are out of the way. Then wait until his back is to you and throw one of the bikes that are sitting there to be returned at his head…
As these absurdities raced through my mind the man at the door turned towards a woman he seemed to recognize and started laughing. He took the oblong purse he had underneath his right arm and held it out to her. She hugged him, kissed him on the cheek, and said ‘thank you’ as he smiled and turned to walk out the door.
I snapped out of my delusion just as quickly as I had fallen into it. I felt like a fool. I also felt angry because, at that moment, I recognized the truth of the world we now live in; public safety is dead and those absurd thoughts need to be racing around all of our heads when we are out and about.