The other night I was shopping at my local grocery store because I had run out of milk and eggs. It was about 10:00 p.m. at night, and on Saturday night. From the looks of the shopping crowd, there were more than a few decrepit-looking bachelors or young people on a "beer run." This is what happens when you shop at the grocery store at night. If you shop at the other end of the day, say around 6:00 a.m., you will be more likely to run into people over the age of 60. In any event, this stop at the grocery started out to be uneventful, and like most things in my life lately, dull.

Summer Tree

When I parked and got out of my car, a young woman, college aged shouted at me: "JOE!" I stopped and looked at her out of the corner of my eye. I wasn't sure she was talking to me. "Hey, JOE!" Okay, now she was talking to me. I looked at her. The passenger was laughing. The woman shouting at me, oddly enough, looked a little shocked, perhaps even slightly scared. Something weird was up, and she expected some kind of an answer. I said, "uh, no--sorry. I'm not Joe." "You not!?," she asked incredulously. "No," I said and proceeded to walk away. Next, for some reason, she decided to start cursing at me and saying some things that would make a sailor blush. "HEY! YOU &*&%^?! Why don't you (expletive) effing (expletive) You (expletive, curse word, and you guessed it: expletive)!!!!" As she was still shouting at me when I had made it halfway from my car to the front of the grocery store, I decided to stop. I turned around and walked straight over to her car. I got within 5 feet of her car and made a big show of reading her license plate. She stopped yelling. Without saying a word, I walked inside the store and did my shopping.

When I was done, her car was gone. So I went home without incident, and went to bed an hour or so later. But, this kind of thing really makes me wonder. Why do people do this to each other? I am a stranger to her, and the funny thing is, I think she knew I wasn't "Joe" all along. For some reason, maybe the thrill of adrenaline, she wanted to yell at me. In a weird way, the whole shouting episode makes wish it was August. I took the above picture then, and I keep thinking of how I would do some things over again if I go back in time to then.

24 January 2005
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