While working in the meter reader type position mentioned here, I had another experience that I wanted to share.
It was a lovely fall day and I was walking through a particularly gorgeous mobile home park. I was happily crunching through the leaves and looking at how beautiful the sky was. I love days like that.
About 300 feet in front of me I saw a man out in his backyard. My route was taking me directly towards him. He seemed very engrossed in whatever he was doing on his work table and I didn’t want to startle him. (I am known to be incredibly quiet and sneaky).
I called out to him. “Hello!”
He looked up at me, clearly startled. I continued to walk towards him. He was a tall man, taller than me. He was burly and bearded and kind of scary looking (which in my experience are usually the nicest guys). He was wearing what I thought were suspenders.
It turns out it was a gun holster. Which I found out when he pulled a gun from it.
I stopped dead in my tracks (no pun intended). I looked around me, hoping someone else was around to intervene, or at least bear witness at the murder trial.
I was alone with him. I then looked to try to find a tree or bush or shed to duck behind. But there was nothing. I had stupidly wandered into a clearing like Bambi’s mother.
I looked up at that perfect blue sky I had just been enjoying. I looked at the fallen leaves I had moments ago been happily crunching.
Luckily, this was during my heart surgery days and I had long ago come to grips with my mortality. I long ago stopped fearing death. I was ready to die whenever death came ( I had just expected it to come on the operating table or recovery room).
All I could think was that I was going to die. After living through all those heart surgeries only to be shot by this random stranger. What a stupid way to die. And that would have been the last thing I thought in this life if he had shot me.
Only a few seconds had passed with all these thoughts racing through my mind.
The man was definitely holding a gun. He looked at it and looked at me. “Oh, don’t be alarmed.” He smiled. His smile was not reassuring.
How could I not be alarmed? He had clearly seen me. He had pulled a gun on me. What the fuck was going on?!
“There’s a cougar in the woods.”
“Okay.” Was this some kind of code? Was he a spy?
“It climbed a tree and landed in my neighbor’s yard the other day. And since I’m out here working alone… I thought I would feel safer with a gun.”
“And you thought I would feel safer with you pulling it on me?”
“No. I didn’t want you to walk up and see me wearing a gun in a holster. But in retrospect, what I did was actually much worse.” He laughed.
I laughed. Still very uncomfortable and unsafe feeling.
“Look, you can come closer. I’ll put my hands up.”
So, even though he had a gun and I didn’t, he put his hands up. I walked towards him.
It turns out he was a really nice guy. He was an artist that did metalworking. (Which is totally sexy). I wound up talking to him for about an hour about his art and my art. It’s too bad he wasn’t 30 years younger.
And that’s how a senior citizen pulled a gun on me.