…I raid her fridge and create meals! Cucumber Tomato Salad with roasted chicken and fresh mozzarella…ahhh…
Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, cracked pepper, sundried tomato chips as dressing.
Even though I was standing and he was sitting, Billy towered over me by another foot. Billy’s huge, like, HUGE, with a thick neck, broad shoulders, and tree trunks as thighs. At one point in our boisterous conversation, Billy reached out for a pound, and as I served it back, my four knuckles rested against his first two. Big boy, that Billy.
We’re jawin’ on about whatnot and whatever when suddenly, Billy’s right leg swings up swiftly, his knee level to my chest, and I, out of instinct, hop back into a fight stance and lift my arms to block what seems to be a right knee to my face.
Billy doesn’t break a beat in his story as the battering ram is returned to a relaxed pose. I’m now in fight mode, but not sure why.
“Billy! What the fuck was that??”
“Oh my leg? Oh it does that.”
“Yeah, it’s like a nervous twitch or something.”
“Nervous twitch?? Billy, I thought you were gonna knee me in the face!”
“Really? No, I wouldn’t do that.”
I relax my balled fists and loosen my stance. I exhale deeply, hoping I didn’t leak out too much adrenaline. “Billy, I was gonna hit you.”
Billy slumps his shoulders and closes his eyes. “It’s okay. You can hit me.” He straightens his spine, rests his hands on his thighs, and just waits, in a knowing fashion, in a this-happens-all-the-time fashion. I’m bewildered. He doesn’t move. “Go ahead, hit me.”
Flummoxed, I look to his brethren at his right, who says, “That’s just Billy.”
Billy awaits his bludgeoning, a willing receptor for my left hook. And I thought I was insane!
“Billy,” I place a soft hand on his left shoulder, encouraging his eyes to open and look at me, “I don’t want to strike you, Billy.”
“It’s okay if you want to.”
“Thank you for the invitation, but no, I don’t want to hit you.”
Billy shifts in his seat, back into his relaxed pose, and offers sweetly, “But just so you know, if you wanna hit me, you can hit me.”
I am simultaneously touched and freaked out by his gentlemanly invitation for assault. I sit back down, where the girls are talking, and continue eating sushi.
Imagine what it feels like to be driving, alone, after midnight in unfamiliar territory, when suddenly your GPS navigation system gives out, and the lamps inside your truck stop working. This happened to me during the wee hours of Thursday, July 24 just a few weeks ago.
The Girl Scout in me knew she needed a map, but she also knew we didn’t own one. All I knew was that I was in Georgia, alone, directionally blind in the middle of the night.
A familiar beacon, a striation of sunny yellow beams extending from a blue background and the words, “Wal-Mart.”
If ever a woman could get completely exasperated from excitement merely by reading a lit sign, it would be in the way I reacted.
Pulled in to Store #5797 and noticed first how bright and clean it was for stock hours. The design of this store is different from what I have back home, so I must’ve looked very turned around when a lovely associate stopped shelving and asked if I needed help. I asked for an atlas, and so he came up to Maranda, who, mind you, had recently lost her voice, eagerly directed me towards the atlas I own now.
Not content to leave me looking at the atlas, Maranda asked me where I was headed, and, still nervewrecked I responded, “I don’t even know where I am!”
With the sweetest delivery, she pronounced, “You’re in Albany, Georgia,” to which I sighed relief. At least I was still heading the correct direction.
Maranda called over KT, who used to frequently travel to Memphis and Little Rock. As my stop was Memphis, he showed me on the atlas which roads to take, as well as how much time it should take me to get there. Relieved, grateful, confident on my path, I bid them farewell and told them I’d write a letter to express my sincere gratitude. Of course, they said it wasn’t necessary.
Obviously, I was compelled to share my story. I appreciate Maranda and KT going the extra mile to help me find the product I needed and get me safely on the road. My navigation system eventually resolved itself, but it’s good to know this cherished atlas is in my truck with me.
Still on the road; might visit Store #5797 for snacks!
Please freely use my expression of gratitude, as long as KT and Maranda are mentioned.
With greatest appreciation,
Author, I Blew Up Juarez
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Allowing a day to heal at my host’s comfortable place. Her cat checks on me intermittently as I raid her bookshelf. Like the company my novel keeps…