God, what a day yesterday. I was so tired when I got home around midnight last night that I didn't even shower. I just fell into bed, hugged C. and told her I loved her, patted Mr. Moose on his needle nose that was stuck in my face, and then fell asleep. I did not read a blog, I did not write a post. I also did not eat much or drink enough water. I was emotionally and physically drained.
I'll tell you about the day. The morning started with my going to a fast food joint near the boat yard. I don't go to fast food places anymore. But yesterday morning I was hungry and in a hurry. First mistake.
I looked up at the other people in line who were pretending as hard as they could that both these people would disappear. The young woman was telling the crazy guy to please be quiet and to stop. But he kept yelling to not give her any food because she stole his money. And he said that he was going to beat her.
Bingo. He said the wrong words. I looked at him as he was maybe five feet from me. And I said something like "You need to stop yelling at her and leave now." God, I hate myself when I get in protective mode. I cannot stand to see someone cowering and being threatened. This guy was not big but he appeared to be high on something. I thought that perhaps a fairly stern warning would evoke some flight response.
Instead he came over and started getting in my face. So I got up, towering over him, and said that I was going to get my phone (the one time I left it in the car) and was calling the police. Okay. That should make him leave, right? Nope. He follows me outside, yelling at me, with the young woman telling him to stop. The frozen people in the fast food joint were watching all this without moving a muscle, pretending still that this is just normal and continuing to order their whatevers.
So I go to my car, not really turning my back on him, but telling him to get away from me as I was calling the police, and he might just want to head on out. He just kept getting in my face and screaming at me. He told me that he could do what he wanted to his wife. He could yell at her and hit her if he wanted. His fists were balled up, and he was acting like a crazy man. I told him to get away from me. I was seriously getting ready to plant a size 13 foot right in the middle of his chest followed by a hard right to the face, when I saw a police car.
As luck (or HP) would have it, a police car drove by just at the moment and slowed for the light. I walked quickly to the police car and told the officer that there was a domestic dispute going on right here, right now and to turn around. He did a U turn and within seconds was right there. Within a minute three other police cars were right there.
So the police get out, start talking to the guy who said that I was making threats at him. Everyone went off to their respective corners--me with one officer, the girl with another, the fellow with another. A fourth was standing amongst this happy little enclave ready to taze or do whatever was necessary if any of us made the wrong moves.
So I told the officer what happened. He told me that I could go back in the fast food joint and wait until he talked to the other two. So back I go to purgatory. I am looked at like I am some kind of homeless guy making trouble when I go back in. I was wearing jean shorts, a tee shirt, a two day old beard and probably had a nervous twitch by now. So I can see the confusion.
The lady who I took to be the manager came over and asked if I was okay. I wanted to say, "Yes, I do this every day. It is a great way to get a huge adrenalin rush in the morning." But I said I had been better. She said that those two were regulars but "He don't usually act quite that bad." Great. I can only imagine having to deal with the regular crowd every morning.
The policeman then came in and told me that the fellow didn't actually make any physical contact with his wife or me, so he couldn't be charged with anything. He is known by the police as a guy with temper problems and a few other issues that he didn't go into. He thanked me for stepping up as a "good citizen" but cautioned against getting involved in the future. He said the best thing would be to quietly step outside and call the police.
Yes, I definitely heard him. I know how stupid I was. The guy could have had a knife or a gun. I know that something in me bubbled up when I saw nobody making a move to do anything. It was like I couldn't help myself. It was something deep and instinctual.
So I left, got in my car, and drove past the guy who was surrounded by three police with papers in their hands. I guess he was getting charged with something or being given a warning. The young woman who he said was his wife was sitting alone on the curb with her head in her hands. I rolled down the window as I drove past and said, "Take care of yourself." She wanly smiled and said thanks. That was it.
When I got to the boat, I had already beaten myself far worse than that guy would have. Thankfully, the engine started, and I was able to get underway. All of that went smoothly. But instead of enjoying the first thirty minutes of the trip, I was continuing to beat myself up: "You know better. You could have gotten up and called outside. What were you looking for--a fight?". Sigh.
But I gave myself those thirty or so minutes and then I focused on the buoys and markers, calling the bridge tender to open the bridge, and the boat which is magical and beautiful. By the time I got to the marina, the residual of the experience was just about gone.
For the rest of the day, I just worked on moving things from my 22 foot faithful boat to the new beauty. I felt a bit like I was hurting the love of my life.
Later I went to engine class where we had a good laugh over the misspelling of winch on a handout sheet. The instructor had written "wench" instead. You can only imagine what "hooking the strap on the wench" evoked. Goodhearted laughter felt good. And the two women in the class had a good laugh with the rest of us as we ribbed the instructor who is an older gentleman and hadn't a clue what his mistake was.
Then I went back down to the boats to check on them and check the bilge systems, do some caulking on one of the hatches, and hook up to shore power. Finally, around 11:30 PM, I headed home to another kind of refuge, worn out but with my head cleared of the day's events. I will repeat from my previous post: Life is an apprenticeship. I am still an apprentice.