Another busy week soars past me as the holiday rounds the corner, working shifts all over the board, working ten hour shifts, walking back and forth, just to sleep a few hours and do it all over again. I keep forgetting to eat again, a bad habit I need to shake. And then Thanksgiving hit.
I worked from 11.30am to 7.30pm, so there goes the holiday. I managed to sneak out of the bakery at 7 shark and hike my way down 42nd to Killingsworth and meander the 4.4 miles to Lombard where I stopped to get beer.
The Seven – Eleven was bright and I squinted as I took my first step inside the doors and quickly moved to the back corner. Eighteen pack of Pabst, twelve pack of Rainier. I purchase the booze and hurry out the door.
The old woman stops me, her words a slur, pushy. “Can I have one of those beers.” She persists and walks close enough to me I can smell her. I pop open the box of Pabst and hand her a cold one. It is Thanksgiving after all.
She thanks me and tells me I’m a gentleman, and that she is going to walk with me. I agree, seeing her as a harmless old woman. As soon as we got around the corner of the building she cracked the beer open, took a sip, and grabbed a fist full of my jacket with what can only be described as a death grip in order to keep herself upright. I immediately regret the majority of my decisions, as far as being polite is concerned.
I walked on, the old woman pulling me back and forth, left and right, trying to keep herself upright, her eyes tiny pin pricks in a sea of red and white. How had I missed how intoxicated this woman was as we were standing outside of the store?
Finally to my turn, I tell her, and we stand for what seems like eternity, her staring just past me, or at my double, I don’t know, her hand still clutched onto the elbow of my jacket. She insists that she is coming with me. No I tell her. She insists.
I insist she lets go of my jacket.
She insists I give her another beer, and oh yeah, shes coming to hang out with me and my friends. I tell her no. She grabs my arm again. Without thinking my hand shoots into my pocket to produce a small red piece of plastic. Fwip. The blade slides out with the effortless push of my thumb and I stick it up to her face. You’re going to let go of my jacket, and you’re going to go home and sleep this off. Her eyes get as wide as golf balls and her hand slowly drops as she turns away. I cross the street and have to pass the house I’m intending to stop at because, to no surprise, she has been following me, screaming at the top of her lungs about how much of an asshole I am.
I’m the asshole here.