I am looking out the window across the parking lot.
A man gets out of a pick-up truck, walks around to the passenger door and opens it.
He pulls out a metal object. His handling of it tells me that he has done this same action many times, and he is comfortable with its heft and bulk.
He turns towards the place where I am. His walk is confident, his muscles apparent. His genes and daily activities help to keep his body in top condition. The object in his gloved hand seems almost weightless because of the man’s strength.
I watch him closely.
Trotting across my mind come scenes so intense that breathing is suspended.
If this man were the first person walking down the street ahead of an angry crowd, there would be great cause for alarm. He looks strong and strides with authority. Others would be willing to follow him, for he seems to ooze confidence.
I could be sitting alone in my car in a deserted parking area at twilight. If this same man were doing what he is doing right now, I would be afraid. Very afraid. Only the windshield between us. He looks strong, no way could I win a physical fight.
It might be my job to work as the Receptionist at the front desk of an abortion clinic. A man is walking towards the building. Past the crowds of protesters. Brushing away the security guard. Intent on gaining entry to see his estranged wife, who is sitting in the waiting room. There are 14 women in that room, and any one could have caused this scenario.
Bulletproof glass is unlikely to put up much resistance to that heavy metal object in his hands.
What should I do first? Wait and see? Nod to the guard, who already has his hand on his gunbelt? Push the silent alarm?
A man is coming towards me with metal in his hands.
Is it time to panic?
My breath comes back in a rush, just as the man reaches the curb. As he steps up, he hands what is in his hand to another man who has been waiting to receive it.
I watch through the window while they go on with their work.
I turn my head and look at Husband across the table.
“Wonder why he needs a crowbar at MacDonald’s?” I asked.
“Look around.” he says. “All kinds of remodeling and expansion going on.”
A handsome man got out of his truck, carried a heavy tool to the worksite, and put his skills as a carpenter to a good job.
He will never know what simple and routine actions did to this woman’s imagination.
Context is everything. A good writer would know.
~~love and Huggs, Diane