I was sitting there, minding my own business, not bothering nobody, when this fellow in madras plaid shorts walks up and asks, Mind if I sit here? He pointed to the couch across the wicker table from me.
It was the patio at Starbucks. It wasn’t like I owned the place, but it wasn’t like there weren’t 25 other chairs to sit in either.
No. I don’t mind, I replied and went right back to my work.
I had been annoyed earlier by the two fellows sitting back behind me spouting about all the bestselling books they are planning to write. I bet when they find out that a book earns about .000024 cents a word, they might rethink that writing thing. Those of us crazy in Alabama types can’t help it. We are compulsive about writing. Somebody should invent a drug to help me control this impulse I have.
What are you doing? Madras man asked.
You a writer?
You any good?
I am very good, I replied.
What do you write? Blogs and stuff?
Yes, I said. Blogs and books.
What kind of books?
Hey, you were in the paper this week right?
You are famous.
Famous around here, he said.
Mildly, I replied.
You did Judge Rufe’s book didn’t you?
He told me his name. Told me his profession. He was familiar to me.
I’m thinking about buying a yellow Camaro. You think I should buy a yellow Camaro?
You don’t think I should spend my money?
I don’t care what you do with your money. It’s yours. I’m just saying I wouldn’t buy a yellow Camaro.
I’m having a midlife crisis, he said. I quit my job, my wife and my religion this year.
I said nothing.
Thirty-seven years. That’s how long we were married.
That’s sad, I said, keeping my eyes on the computer and not on the fellow with flipped-up sunglasses and flipped-out story sitting in front of me.
Yeah. Sad you’d stay in a marriage for 37 years if you weren’t happy. And if you were happy, then sad that it’s over.
Hard to live with a whore, he said.
I said nothing.
My wife is a church secretary. She’s having an affair with the Women’s Bible Studies teacher, he said.
Now I’m wondering what it is about me that invites people to tell me stuff about their lives I don’t want to know. Really? For pity’s sake. If I had wanted to be a priest I would have gone to seminary.
After the sex change, of course.
I never felt comfortable in church. Now I know why, he said.
You caught your wife in an affair with this other woman?
No. But I seen ‘em rubbing up against each other. They would go off to these retreats where all the women sleep together. I figure that’s where it started. These Baptists are a bunch of hypocrites. They talk against same sex marriage all the while their choirs and softball teams are havens for lesbianism.
At this point, I’m wondering who spiked the fellow’s Green Tea Lemonade.
Did you report this to the pastor? I asked.
He wouldn’t believe me.
Did you go to the other woman’s husband?
No. He’s a redneck. He’d probably punch me out.
But you never actually saw your wife with this other woman?
No, but I read the cards they sent to each other. I’ve seen the gifts they give to each other. I hear that a woman can be persuaded to be lesbian. She don’t have to be born to it the way a man does.
I wouldn’t know.
And let me tell you something else, those bass fishermen?
They’re not fishing.
No. They are out there in those boats having homosexual affairs.
Well, dang, that explains why so many of them come home without catching anything.
#10 Things I love about Georgia: Crazy doesn’t even bother with a disguise. It roams around Starbucks in a pair of Topsiders.