Monday, July 20, 2009

Coincidence or Concerning?

Yesterday afternoon as I was leaving my local grocery store, I noticed a guy at the far end of the parking lot. He first caught my eye because he was almost cartoonishly huge: he looked a little like the 1990s pro wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (pictured above). He was wearing jeans and no shirt in the hot sun. But what really caught my eye was the machete swinging in his right hand as he strode purposefully down the sidewalk, like he was looking for someone. Not wanting to be in a real-life Tarantino film, I quickly got in my car and drove off. But maybe that was nothing, I thought, as I pulled away. (Maybe that wasn't even a real machete?)

As I turned the corner out of the parking lot, however, I saw another unusually big guy. He was also wearing jeans and no shirt. This guy looked like the NFL linebacker Ray Lewis, and, oddly, seemed to leaning on a decorative cane in his right hand, while he just stood there staring down the street. He was staring in the general direction of The Machete. But The Machete was more than a block away, and they didn't seem to be interacting. "Coincidence?" I wondered, as I drove on.

At the next intersection, a car was idling at the stop sign on my left. It was an old T-bird with a bunch of dents. The driver was a young guy who appeared to be in his mid-20s. He was staring back down the street toward Ray Lewis as he talked on a cel phone. Was he in a gang or something? (He was wearing some sort of nylon bandana.)

Maybe not: he then looked up and politely waved me on with a friendly smile... (And I smiled back and hit the gas, a little concerned but wonderign whether that was all just one big coincidence.)

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