A couple of weeks ago, I was at a fast food restaurant – part of a large chain. It was the middle of a Saturday, and I was just grabbing a bite to eat at a location I do not frequent. Actually, the location was in a "bad part of town." Not bad enough for me to hold my pee and continue to the next area, if you know what I mean.
So I was sitting by myself, reading a book and eating. I always carry a book or two in the car. I don't mind eating by myself, but need to have a diversion. I almost always have a book in the car, a stack next to my bed, and others casually thrown throughout the house. When I was in school, I would buy Oxford Pocket Classics – can you imagine having a book, a classic, in your purse? Oh, am I geekish.
I am reading and here a rather large man taking to a family of four. I am going to call the big1 man Frank. Not sure he is a Frank, but let's just do it to give him a name. Everyone deserves a name.
In the course of talking to the family, Frank learns about a guy they mutually know. Frank says that he was the other guy in the backyard story. Non-descript, I know, but that's what he said at first.
Then he talks about some associates, associated with a club known as the 81s. And he asks the family if they know what the 81s are. Luckily for me, they don't know, and he said the numbers represent the letters in the alphabet. But he says nothing more. HA, and I think of things it could be. It didn't take more than a minute to think "Hell's Angels."I could have googled it if I was at work, but the ol' brain still works.
Over the course of the conversation, he goes back to the backyard experience. A little more light is shed. He told the family that he knew they would be okay because "they can't do ballistics on shotguns."
Instantly, I casually look for the entrance. All clear. This guy is freaking me out.
I stay planted because I am interested and afraid.
I hear more about Frank's life – that he held a gun at someone's head because they touched his jacket. And he was not mad at the guy; he just did not want to be touched. Or how he would fight with others. He was a rough guy.
And I can't get it out of my head that he admitted to others that he and a friend killed two people in a backyard. I start to think about what to do with this information. How do I inform the police without having him know anything about me?
And then I remember something else he said. That he had a try-out with the NY Jets. Not that he tried out with them, but that they called him. I have known a couple of football players. They would have dwarfed this man. He played nose tackle and center. I can't remember which is which – I mean, one is defensive line, one is offensive line. But I can't remember which side of the line plays bigger. Point is, the guy had to be lying about the NY Jets. Not sure if he was lying about the backyard.
Just makes me feel better to have that as a possibility.
1 A bit overweight, and I am being a tad kind, actually – not helpful, I know, when I am describing a scene.
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