I wonder who puts a ‘Jesus Saves’ bumper sticker on an $100,000 car.
Truth is I can’t say for certain how much that car costs but I know enough to make an educated guess and it is definitely more than the two baristas working the counter collectivelyÂ earn each year
Some Texans might hear this story and think that only someone from L.A. would think about how much a car would cost while some Angelenos would say that only in Texas would someone put a ‘Jesus Saves’ Â bumper sticker on a luxury car.
None of this of particular significance or import. It has about the same meaning as trying to figure out if I a stormtrooper is smiling or frowning.
Don’t ask me why I think about that or how every time I see stormtroopers twerking I wonder if they are enjoying it or if it is just part of the job.
I am parked on my ass in the far corner of the shop, tempted to sit outside and enjoy some of the vaunted Texas sun but not interested in smelling like I smoked a pack of Marlboros.
The memory of my last visit here still sitting in the back of my mind wondering if either of the kids at the counter recognized me, but certain even if they didn’t they heard about that moment.
There is a certain amount of pleasure taken in saying it took three officers and a love tap from the stick to put those silver bracelets upon your wrists but upon general reflection the amount of time it took for the bruises to go makes you realize it just wasn’t worth it.
You don’t have to ask your mom what she thinks about your having politely asked the guy in the hat to stop smoking because she will say you should have walked away.
Dad is stuck between a rock and a hard place because part of him is proud of his son. He understands that when someone tosses a coffee at you there is going to be a response and he secretly loves that guy requires the use of a straw and a crutch.
But he still wants to know when you are going to realize that your hell raising days should be long behind you and wonders if you have figured out that dumb luck is what prevented your own serious injury.
You tell him that ‘Jesus Saves’ and he glares at you because nice Jewish boys don’t say that kind of thing but mostly because he is not interested in sarcasm or snark.
“Sorry dad, I shouldn’t have said that. I probably should have walked away but the coffee was just hot enough to burn and that shit eating grin on his face made it clear I am not the first person he has done this too.”
Dad nod his head and asks how many times I have ever seen someone drinking from a real glass at one of these coffee shops.
“I don’t know. I think he was using a paper cup and that is what he hit me with but the mug I hit him with, well I think it might have belonged to the lady sitting with him.”
Can’t tell you if that guy has ever been hit with a mug or any sort of glass object before but it wasn’t like one of those saloon fights you see in old Westerns.
That mug didn’t break until the second time I hit him with it. If I was a tennis player I would have described it as being a forehand followed by a backhand.
I have to give him credit for being tougher than I expected because he still managed to get up and come after me. I wanted to throw his ass over the counter or through the plate glass window but I couldn’t quite manage to do that and protect myself from the guy who had grabbed me from behind.
Thankfully the judge said I wasn’t fully responsible for that guys injuries because he inserted himself into the middle of things. I am not quite sure if that means I am responsible for just the stitches he received or from breaking his arm and hand.
And I still haven’t figured out yet if someone was playing Folsom Prison blues or if I just heard it in my head.
I probably should be grateful that I didn’t end up getting to see the inside of somewhere unpleasant like that. Truth is I didn’t try to kill that guy but I can’t say I would have been upset if I had or that I feel badly about busting him up.
When I asked him to stop blowing smoke in my face I said please and did so with a smile on my face. Maybe I am morally flawed or have some other issue but when you poke the bear you risk getting mauled.
Anyway all that happened just long enough ago to feel far away but not so long for it not to still be vivid in my head.
Got my coffee in my hands, earbuds in my ear and some mix of relaxing classical tunes to keep me smiling.
Of course the secret anger that lies just beneath the surface isn’t such a secret anymore and the more rational parts of me wonder if coming here is like playing with fire.
Mozart fills my head and I look up in time make eye contact with the barista who made my drink. He is not the guy who took my order.
That guy had no idea who I was but this one clearly does. I can see in his eyes that he recognizes me and that he is trying to play it cool.
Dude just pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and I am curious to see what he is going to do with it.
As he starts to dial it occurs to me that I probably have that look on my face and that it is not going to make the kid think of me as being like a friendly uncle.
I probably should just leave but that voice that always told me to keep pushing the envelope says I should wait and see what happens.
A few minutes later a police car pulls into the parking lot and now I am curious why they are there. Might not have anything to do with me, but then again it might.
Now the decision is made. I am not leaving until I am good and ready to go.
The first officer opens the door, takes off his sunglasses and looks right at me. Guess in a moment I’ll know for certain why they are there.