Vigilante

Before I get into this one, I have to take a moment to shout out to the new subscribers.

I’m blown away by the support. I can’t thank you enough.

I still haven’t quite figured out what it is about my musings and rants which instills in others an impulse to follow along and read my stuff. I’m a science fiction guy. A simple man. A meat and potatoes fella. I read, research, and write fun space operas with unique characters, and am known to have a hyperactive imagination. In my spare time I create alien worlds and species, animals, languages, outer space battles, spaceships, and creatures.

Here, on this site, I just chat about myself and random experiences. Keeping my peeps in the loop.

So… when I find out someone is new, and reading old material (like… from a year ago), and soon after becoming a new subscriber, there’s a little secret spot within a dark corner of my cluttered mind which always delves into that internal question.

What is it, about you, that resonates with others?

I’ll get a notification at 2AM. Blink open the crusted eye lids and the phone’s glare is a blinding spotlight. I turn down the brightness to read the messages, and the provided list of new folks who have decided to follow along are so diversified, and I’m taken aback each time. So many different walks of life. Each with their own unique thoughts and ideas. Sharing life experiences. Each with individualized beliefs, levels of knowlege, and awareness, that are important to self.

Inspirational. Instructional.

Real.

Wanting to help others in some fashion.

Based on that, I came to a simplistic conclusion.

People have “had it up to here” and are done with “not real”.

All I want to do is be as real as I can be. Unapologetic.

The unfortunate caveat to that concept is, while wanting to express “real,” projecting an opinion, or speaking one’s truth which may or may not go against the proverbial grain, comes with a swamp of yucky muck to wade through.

What’s “allowed” to be said? Could an opinion bring forth unpleasant side-effects? Could an individual be stifled, censored into oblivion, shut down, or social shamed based on their truth, ideas, thoughts/opinions?

Of course.

Therefore, in this day and age living within the current paradigm, one has to become a vilgilante to be expressive. Riding the razor’s edge. A boundary pusher.

I’ll share a (hopeful) quick story. But, I’ve been known in the past to make a short story long. Hope you enjoy.

Again… just me, being real.

***

I’m not a system bucker, but, at times I have pushed the boundary. I haven’t reached vigilante status and don’t really plan to. Typically, I never ride the razor’s edge. Too sharp for my taste. Knowing there’s a razor’s edge, is good enough for me. I love my life. I enjoy every drop. There’s no way I’d want to jeopardize anything I’ve already established in my realm. I don’t ever want to find myself in a compromised position, again. Been there, done that.

Not fun.

But, those who know me (or have followed along since the beginning) understand I have tendencies to be a “realist.” I do believe logic leads to wisdom, and all I seek is wisdom. If there’s an apparent glitch in the Matrix, if something is seemingly nonsensical, my gut tells me to call it out and get to the bottom of it all.

Something about this isn’t right. Speak your piece.

Ummm, are you sure about that?

One afternoon, not too long ago I was at a grocery store. I found myself drawn down the chip aisle for some unknown reason, and the blue color stopped me in my tracks. My eyes were pulled down to a favorite, long forgotten, childhood snack along the lower shelf. A bag of chips I used to sneak into movie theaters “back in the day”.

A vinegar, and salt flavored chip. I don’t eat chips anymore, but some inner, nagging voice suggested I snatch them up.

It’ll be a worthwhile purchase, I promise.

Why are you getting these? The biggest bag? Dude… it’s like… $4.00. Colossal waste.

Who knows why? Who cares? Just… do it.

I finished my shopping, questioning why the bag of chips was in my basket flashing like a neon sign, and I left the parking lot.

On my way home I needed to stop and get some fuel for the buggy. I had a ten bill in the wallet and chose pump #3. Parked eight feet away from the front door of the gas station.

I entered the building, and joined the line.

After withdrawing my wallet and sliding the bill out, I then realized I had forgotton my “face covering”.

Damn it.

Left it in the front seat of the car among the groceries.

Bummer. Well, let’s see how this plays out.

I do wear a “covering” to purchase goods and services. There are some stores in my area that don’t require a covering and I try to frequent those the most. I exist within the construct, so I do my best to abide/comply, reading each and every sign taped to the building’s glass door, scanning and scrutinizing every word before I enter, to remain trouble free. As always, I’m in a public facility for less than ten minutes at a time. Only having to adorn the covering for mere minutes a day.

I play by the “rules,” and I understand the game.

The person in the gas station line ahead of me pays for his goods, and it’s then my turn.

Knowing the cashier is probably scared to death of my presence, I pull my body away as far as I can stretch, leaning backwards, obviously beyond the recommended distance, drop the ten spot under the plastic dangling partition, and muttered quickly, “forgot the covering in the car, 10 on 3,” and about faced to exit the building as fast as my legs could carry me; putting as much distance between us as possible.

(You can probably see where this is heading)

I pushed open the door, stepped onto the pavement, the door closing slowly behind me, car’s passenger side handle in reach of my fingers and I hear, “SIR! SIR!!!”

Slightly confused I spun around, whipped open the door, and re-entered the store (entry number two).

Is the ten dollar bill a “badbill? I wonder what’s up?

I approached the counter and waltzed half-way to the cashier. I stopped near the center of the floor, and said, “What’s going on?”

“I can’t finalize the transaction, until you put a ‘covering’ on.”

A nervous flutter erupted in the depths of my gut, spreading through my insides, into every nook and cranny of my body and soul, and my face reddened. I could feel my pulse thumping inside my crimson ears.

I hadn’t been that angry for quite some time.

I pushed it all down, blinked open my eyes, and dropped my hands half-way into my pockets.

The following back and forth, was our dialogue:

I walked one step forward. “I’m sorry. I didn’t catch that… Your voice is slightly muffled… Can you speak up?”

“I can’t finalize the transaction, until you put one on.”

“I was outside the building.”

“I understand.”

“So, hold on… you called me back in here… just to tell me… I have to go outside… to retrieve it?”

“Yes.”

“I was almost to my car. How do you know I wasn’t on my way out to get it?”

“I can’t turn the pump on, until you get a covering on.”

“OK you seem to be a little lost. I’m going to rewind to the beginning of this and pretend you never said any of that. My question. Please pay attention: if I ignore you, leave the cash right there on the counter, go to my car, open up the gas hole, patiently wait at the pump for you to accept my money and put it in the till, so I can press the gas buttons, pump the fuel and be out of your hair, how long will that be? Seriously. Give me a time frame. Five minutes? 30 seconds? Or, instead, you ignore the money and then call the police to drag this whole thing out and try to get some obscure trespassing BS on me. Which… is fully acceptable, because, I’ll never step foot in this building again. I can easily pay with a card, and be done with this nonsense. But, I need to know how long it’ll be before you press your button to turn the pump on, or, the call is made… I have plans later this afternoon and need to know.”

“I can’t turn it on.”

“I could have been down the road, gas in tank by now, and gone from here forever. I’m seriously not trying to be argumentative, but you need to make it make sense.”

“I can’t do it.”

“So, the money stays right there, on the counter, until one of us makes a move. Either, I approach the counter and get it, then, with money in hand, go outside, again, put on the covering, which is in the car… I’m closer to it… than I am to you, re-enter the building for a third time, with covering on, drop the bill back down, state my purchase, and then go outside, again, as if nothing happened and business continues.”

“The money stays right there.”

“Real talk?”

The cashier crossed his arms, and walked out of my sight, around the corner, into the nearby “manager office”. I’m not sure if the cashier was at a loss for words, or just outright angry at me. I didn’t care either way.

“Sorry to bother you,” I barked. “but I have one more question because I need it to make sense and because this is certainly going in my blog later. What if I needed face coverings, and didn’t have any? Fresh out. In fact, I’d like to change my purchase right now. I’ll get the gas purchase on my card. What if I wanted to buy that box of disposables sitting right there on the edge of your counter. Would my money be acceptable then? Would we be having this same chat? Or, would you ask me to leave, to go home to find some piece of fabric to wrap around my mouth, maybe an old ripped up towel would work, then, drive back and return to your fine establishment to purchase the box of coverings? Help me.” I clenched both fists. “Please. Please help me in finding some logic.”

The cashier returned to the counter. Turned to the side, staring out the window into the parking lot, ignoring my every word.

To be expected. Policy, policy, policy.

I relaxed my fists. “To complete my point, whether you understand the point or not, I have just one final thing.” I backed up a few steps to get closer to the door. “When the police do come to hand me whatever piece of paper they hand me to ensure I can’t set foot on the property again, do the officers then come inside, on my behalf, to retrieve my cash, which by your own admission is staying right there, or, will you be hand delivering it to me, personally. Either way, I’d like it sanitized. Your choice on product. Cause, I’m not quite sure I trust your cleaning protocols… Is your checklist up to par?”

He refused to speak.

“Keeping me in here, allowing me to rant and rave like a lunatic while you try to exert some bizarre dominance over me, isn’t helping the problem. I understand your side of the fence. No… I get it. I’ve read it all. I’ve probably read more on it than you have. But, on my way out the door you could have said, politely, ‘hey, make sure you wear one next time’ and I would have said, ‘sure,’ but it all had to go down like this, instead.”

The cashier paced behind the counter.

“Ok. I see how it is. I’ll be right back.” I left the money on the counter and went outside. I flung open the car door, put the covering on, re-entered the building for the third time, jumped across the threshold, pointed at my covering, looked at all the cameras circling the room and said, “ta-da. Are we good now?”

The cashier snatched up the bill, opened the till, and turned the pump on.

I took the covering off, and promptly left the building.

Once completed, and turning the fuel cap shut, I noticed a small sign on the gas pump. “We clean and sanitize our pumps every 20 minutes to ensure, blah, blah, blah.”

I wonder. Hmmmmm, I bet a thousand dollars………………. no… five thousand dollars.

I slid into the driver’s seat and parked the car on the far side of the lot. I opened my phone and turned on a podcast I’d been excited to listen to for a few days and decided it was the opportune moment. I sat in that spot, in that mostly vacant parking lot, and waited for a worker to come outside, at any point, to clean and sanitize the pump stations.

Especially the one I was at.

About 15 minutes into my investigation, and not a soul had come to clean, my stomach craved a snack.

A beam of sunshine broke through the clouds and shone through the passenger side window illuminating my grocery bags, and I was pleasantly surprised to find my bag of chips within arms reach sitting on the top.

Told you it’ll be a worthwhile purchase.

After forty minutes of watching (double the time on the public sign of promised cleanliness), and waiting, an empty chip bag beside me, I had then decided to leave.

I got what I needed.

Everything I experience in my day to day, helps me see the world for the way it is through my personal viewing lens.

And, I understand the vigilante mentality better than ever before.

I suppose that’s enough ranting and raving and carrying on like a lunatic for the day. I hope all is well in everyone’s realm. Mine couldn’t be better. I’m involved in activities I never thought I’d participate in. I’m having experiences, and living a decent life.

I’m now a comment moderator for a YouTube channel I’ve been watching for roughly 6 years. There’s nothing more satisfying than kicking toxic trolls out and deleting unsavory messages. Having a full time gig and 2 part time jobs is a delicate balance of time management, but luckily the part time work is on my own scheduling.

You never know where life will take you.

VOL 2 of the Guardian War Chronicles is on its way. Soon to be in the awaiting hands of anxious alpha readers. The first book in a young adult series I’ve started is nearing completion with developmental edits in progress. If you want a brief synopsis on the YA series, I wrote a little something something on my author Facebook page about it.

That’s all in the tank for now.

peace

The award winning science fiction novel, Volume One of the Guardian War Chronicles, The Surrender Game is available for purchase on Kindle for only $2.99. Free, with Kindle Unlimited. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to like my Facebook page to receive information about the Surrender Game, the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments and series to come. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. Be good to each other. Chase the dream. Chat soon and see you at the next one.

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