Haunted By My Past

Ever have a sudden desire for a favorite food?  One afternoon the craving for french fries came upon me, but not just any fries.  I wanted those skinny fries that you usually only find at county fairs and carnivals.

shoestring fries on a plate

One would think that I would be out of luck, as there were no fairs or carnivals around at the time.  But it seems that there is a restaurant chain which has just those types of fries, so I headed there.

While I was waiting for my order to be prepared, I heard my name from behind.  Someone was calling me?  I turned to find a really large guy giving me the nuclear stink eye.

actor angus scrimm scowling

(Not the guy in question, but the expression was similar.)

Oh, jeez.  Just what I needed.  Hey, I was only trying to order some french fries!

He was considerably younger than I was, much larger, and rather fit.  He was also between me and the front door.

angry muscular man

He wasn’t making any overtly threatening moves, at least not yet.  But he was obviously enraged about something, and I figured it was just a matter of a few moments.

So, go out the back?  I wasn’t certain that there was a back door I could use unless I vaulted over the counter.  So I turned in order to block his view of my hand fishing the defensive spray from my belt, and waited to see what he would do.

Then I heard my name spoken yet again, except that he didn’t say anything.  My awareness expanded from the obvious threat to see that there was a very pretty young woman standing next to the angry (and very large, did I mention that?) young man.

attractive blonde in very short shorts

(Not the woman in question, although there is a certain resemblance.)

For some unfathomable reason I immediately admitted that, indeed, I happened to be the James Rummel that she was looking for.  Her quest was over, her prayers were answered, because here I was!

She introduced herself, and said that she remembered me from my charity work.  This puzzled me for a moment, as there was no recollection of ever having taught her the finer points of self defense.  And I was absolutely sure that I would have remembered her if she had ever applied to be a student!

It seems that she had never taken the course.  Instead it was her mother, fifteen years in the past, who had approached me for help.  The young woman had fond memories of playing with her dolls in the family kitchen while I went through my paces.

little girl with doll

(Thinking of how old she had been when we first met kinda put the brakes on my ambitions, if you know what I mean.)

She had also watched me as I installed deadbolt locks on all the exterior doors, and replaced the back door with one that was free from windows so it would be harder for burglars to get in the next time.

We passed a few minutes in conversation, which mainly consisted of me hanging a frozen smile on my face while she excitedly related how her mother managed to shake off the fear from her encounter with criminals after graduating from the self defense course.  It was lucky that she didn’t ask for too many responses from me, as I wracked my brain the entire time and could not dredge up any wisp of memory of either her mother, or of her at 6 years of age.  I suppose that is what happens after more than 700 students.  The one thing that is certain is that her mother 15 years before did not resemble her daughter all grown up, or else she would have stood out from the crowd.

So she was far, far too young to have taken my self defense course way back when.  I asked if she was presently interested, but she politely declined.  (Dammit!!)  After a few minutes my order was up, and she said her goodbyes.

Her boyfriend never said a word, just loomed over the entire exchange with hate shining from his face.  I wonder what she had been telling her about me to get him so riled up.

(This is a retelling of an incident which occurred a few years back.)

 

7 Responses to “Haunted By My Past”

  1. I think I said at the time: you’re a fighting man. You’re a fighting man who is so good at fighting that you teach others how to fight. If he’s macho, that makes you a threat; he doesn’t measure up, no matter what you look like. Deep down you come off as more manly than he does.

  2. guy says:

    “Thinking of how old she had been when we first met kinda put the brakes on my ambitions, if you know what I mean.”

    HAHAHAHAHA. And the big, fit, enraged guy with her didn’t? I think Stephen is right about you having the fighting spirit. 😛

  3. Siergen says:

    Regarding the large young man’s angry expression, by any chance did the person who took your order mention that they were low on fries, and that your order would be the last one they could fill?

  4. Fruitbat44 says:

    James – As ‘getting older’ stories go, that one’s rather cool.

  5. Kristophr says:

    If the man has a serious jealousy problem, and man, other than himself, that “his” woman looks up to is a threat.

    Teaching women to be competent at self-defense is an additional minus … persons with this mental defect are often instigators of murder-suicides.

    They push women away out of fear that they will hurt them by leaving them … and then they get enraged when the woman does start to leave them. This cycle repeats, until the person goes completely psychotic and snaps.

    And they often have a father who also went nuts in a similar fashion. This probably isn’t genetic, but rather a multi-genrational abuser/victim disorder, like pedophiliac-incest-rape.

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