TURN UP THE VOLUME, PLEASE

TURN UP THE VOLUME, PLEASE

(November 12, 2016)

I went to Dallas with Wendy and Zoë, yesterday.
Their goal was to look for a bridal gown.
I just wanted to eat at Cheesecake Factory and read Hacksaw Ridge.

So, I’m sitting in the old man chairs at Terry Costa (gowns, galore), quietly reading, minding my own business.

A tall, tan, chiseled, lean man about 70, with a full head of graying hair walks out of the store, catches my eye, smiles and heads my way.
He sits down in the chair next to me.

“Had enough, I see,” I say.

“Heh,…..(Unintelligible words)…. my daughter. She is 15, stands eye to eye with me,…..(Unintelligible words)….so I walk right up to a rack, pick out a gown and say, ‘try this one.’ It’s the perfect one. She loves it.”

(We sat there for about 30 minutes. “Daughter” Never came out. Maybe she didn’t love it after all.)

“(Unintelligible words)….I used to do some acting, theater, screen….(Unintelligible words)….wardrobe….(Unintelligible words)….”

“Once I was attacked by 39 guys. I tried to tell them not to bother me. I was pretty bulked up then.” He stands to show me how his shirt used to be filled out with his muscles. “I walked out of there with all those guys laying on the ground. Heh.” I smiled. The “Heh” was a clue that something was funny.

“(Unintelligible words)….My dad was a boxer…(Unintelligible words)….He told me, ‘Try to hit me.’ I was about five. I said, ‘Where do you think I’m going to hit you?’ I hit him here.”
He stands and waves his hand over the area between his navel and his thigh.
“Heh…(Unintelligible words)….he was pretty mad…(Unintelligible words)….heh.”

I smile.

He stands and shows me a ring finger that is obviously shorter than the one on the other hand.

“How’d that happen?” I know, I just couldn’t help myself.

“I had just beat this guy up. One punch. I was riding my bicycle, and his dad was chasing me in his car…(Unintelligible words)….he ran into me, trying to kill me. My finger got caught in the grill…(Unintelligible words)….the bone was hanging out, marrow dripping, but I was able to put the fingernail back on, heh. I was four and a half or five years old…(Unintelligible words)….I stood in front of that kid and told him if he ever said another word to me he would have to kill me…(Unintelligible words)….he skulked away.”

“I used to live in…(Unintelligible words)….it was nice. But, it started to change….(Unintelligible words)….started to move in…(Unintelligible words)….”

By now, I’m thinking, “Please stop talking, I just wanna read.”

“….(Unintelligible words)….my wife is taking control in there…(Unintelligible words)….”

“Randy, let’s go,” Wendy calls as she and Zoë walk out of the store.

I stand.

So does tall guy.

I ask, “Is your name Randy?”

He nods.

“Mine, too.” I shake his hand, and walk out, wondering if he would have left with them if I hadn’t.

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