I'm smarter than I was this morning - Camel Light is poor self defense
But I'm replaying the scene and I'm irratated with myself, a tiny bit rattled and figuring out just how many lessons came out of today.
It's a cool day in NC, long sleeve weather. I was at the loading bench earlier today and my wife said she was going to run errands and did I want to come? Not really but "sure, why not", with a smile. Lock up, get in the truck and oh yeah, forgot the snubby. Well, we're heading to Roxboro and nothing happens there. It's not like we're going to Durham; Everything happens there.
Stop at the John Deere place for parts. Stop a Lowes for....stuff... that I have to install, build, repair, etc. Stop at Food Lion and I say "I'll wait in the truck". She heads in.
I'm sitting behind the wheel, window down, radio on, having a smoke (yeah...I know, don't say it, I'll quit someday). Here comes a guy across the parking lot. Half zipped hoody with long floppy sleeves, the hood is not up. Long hair in braids, pulled back kind of. Long and tall and lanky and oh.....maybe it's a woman. Whatever. But he/she is getting closer and makes a sort of gentle turn and is heading towards me. 20' and closing and I realize that not only can I not see any hands in these long floppy sleeves, but it very definitely looks like there's something extended in the right hand (inside the sleeve). All I've got is a cigarette that I prepare for flipping out the window (figuring in the face) because I have no time for any other reaction and it's the best I can do. Next step I'm guessing is to fling the door open while he figures out if his face is burning. "It" comes to the window of the truck and ask for "a quarter, or maybe a dollar" in a very feminine, manly voice. OK. it's a man with some challenges in life. Then the hand comes out of the sleeve. This guy has the hands of a basketball player and all I was seeing was his hand and fingers extened straight forward but hidden by the sleeve. No weapon, but his hands were as long as my feet. My mistake but an easy one to make.
For lack of anything else....I put out the cigarette, gave him a buck and then he asked for a smoke AND a quarter again "if I had it". At this point I wigged a little bit and gave him hell and sent him off walking again. I didn't even have the presence of mind to tell him to keep his hands showing if he was going to present himself to strangers in that manner.
So in the Big Book of Good and Bad....this was bad. I left home without it. I was unprepared. I read the situation but I was inaccurate. I doubt that I would have drawn on him but would have been armed, arms folded, 38 under my left arm, held in right hand. I 'think'. I had very little time to act properly or improperly but it didn't matter because I couldn't do either.
I don't live a paranoid existance and I couldn't tolerate being wired that way. I don't live in a code red condition 24/7. I maintain SA, and I'm not casual about carrying (except maybe today). But this one was on me and I didn't do well IMO.
Be careful....even in your own version of Roxboro or Mayberry or wherever "nothing ever happens".