If you can’t allow adventure to find you in a coin laundry you aren’t living right
Most of you probably won’t remember this post from August 10, 2013, back in Kerrville, Texas. I’ve come to know a lot of veterans since then, but none with quite the flare of the satanist who wore a Vietnam Veteran cap to get people to listen to him talk about his religion.
I noticed a scrawny old guy wearing a Vietnam War Veteran cap watching me as I fed quarters into the machine. So when I finished I took a chair as far from him as I could get but still see my machine. Guy’s wearing Vietnam War Veteran caps aren’t part of my repertoire of wanna-get-acquainted.
I watched him out of the corner of my eye while I pretended to do the ‘bored-people scan’, opened my book, read a page, put it down. Twigged to the fact nobody in the place would meet his eye, and he was trying to get eye contact. I figured, “Oh jeeze, this guy’s been here enough so everyone wants to avoid the nuisance he makes of himself.”
But he was focusing more attention on me, working up to saying something, or coming over nearer where I was sitting. I groaned and stood up, stretching, to go out to the RV, head off anything he was thinking. Too late.
I turned to the door and he caught my eye. “Hey! You’re a lefty!”
“Um. Yeah.” Hell. How’d he happen to notice that? Whoopteedoo conversation starter. He got up and headed to the door with me.
“It’s been a chore, hasn’t it?” Two of us standing in the shade of the overhang. Me fidgeting to break loose and sprint for the RV.
“Going through life left-handed.”
“Not when I could find a woman willing to sleep on the right side.” Figured I might as well clarify my sexual preferences in case that was what was coming down the pike.
A few minutes later it came out he was a supply clerk in DaNang during the Vietnam fracas. Tough gig. Whoopteedoo. “So what the hell’s the hat all about?”
“It’s because of my religion. People around here don’t like me because of it, so I try to put my best foot forward. Vietnam Vet buys me an edge.”
I shook my head, remembered getting cornered by the guy preaching Urantia outside the library in Grants, New Mexico. Wanted to be my new best friend. Real pain in the ass I never broke free of as long as I lived in Grants, always encountering him.
I could either brush the guy off even though he was hungry for talk, or I could grit my teeth, be polite, and hear what he wanted to tell me. Turned out he’s a Satanist.
“Whaaa? A Satan worshiper?”
“No. We don’t worship Satan. That’s just something Christian preachers claim we do.”
At least I don’t have a dog in THAT fight. “Well, hell. Better than being an atheist, I reckons.” I really didn’t want to hear this crap. “Nice talking to you, but I need to take a nap.”
I left him standing in the shade, careful not to look back.