It was a busy day at the mega mart.
A sharp turn off the aisle had me face to face with two tattoo-faced gangbangers.
Every cell in my body sensed trouble. They reaked of crime and suspicion.
They stared at me.
I stared at them… ready to break some collar bones. Ready for anything. That was one of the great gifts of coming of age in boys’ homes. I was about to open up a can of middle aged whoop butt.
I gave ’em my famous boys’ home crazy eyes.
The two young men stepped back and just stood there.
Images of deadly moves rushed through my mind.
Thug One said, “you alright, sir.”
Sir? I thought. I’m not worthy of your harassment? A mugging? A screwdriver in my belly?
Hmm. The crazy eyes must’ve given off a different impression.
Thug Two spoke and interrupted my thoughts. “You okay sir, do you need any help?”
Help? Do they want to help me across the aisle? Do I look that old and feeble?
Looking into their eyes I could see they were generally concerned. Somehow, this was worse than being stabbed in the neck with a pencil.
Sometimes people assume I’m my kids grandpa, but this… this is ridiculous. I told them I was okay.
“Okay sir,” one of them replied.
They called me sir again. I walked off taking a deep breath and chalked it up to having a case of the PTSD sniffles.