Being Who You Are

Image Art by: Lacie Slezak – Unsplash.com

Being Who You Are

Not so tough?

Au contraire, methinks!

Some people (ahem!) go through life too calculative in their environments, measuring an action and/or response that best benefits their position in any setting – a dinner date, a business meeting, even in a close and personal family discussion.

To various degrees, I’m sure it is part of our genetic structures ,and some of our closest allies, friends and loved ones are part of this non-sinister population.

Well, in most cases, I believe this ‘non-sinister’ qualifier applies. However, make no mistake about it, the evil ones of the world are born into or grow-up in a dark and gray surrounding and learn quickly the manipulative and criminal side of this calculative phenomenon. Most good people who live long enough come to know the predators who appear before them with some tired, time-worn scam and deftly remove themselves from the petty crook’s presence.

Some are not so fortunate…

Take me, for example…

Years past, in Monterey, California, I met some clients in Salinas’ famous ‘Cannery Row’ at a gourmet restaurant of some 5-Star ranking.

‘Cannery Row’ was people and traffic busy, and I parked my car in a dark alley area between some buildings. As I stepped from the alley onto the main street where the restaurant was located, two young men stopped me to ask directions to an address I had no clue…and their car broke down and ‘could I possible take them to where they wanted to go’? After a brief chat, easily sizing them up, I walked away thinking the two young men were amateurs in their con-artist attempts, but I could easily mark them as sinister.

 Just a few doors down the sidewalk I entered the restaurant, met my clients, and forgot about the young men.

After too many cocktails and a fine dinner, I left my clients and walked back down the sidewalk to the alleyway and entered the now ‘even darker-black’ area where my car was parked.

 As I turned from the alleyway and into the parking area, two young men, one on either side of me, grabbed my arms. Both men had tight grips on my upper arms, and the man on my right was jabbing the meaty part of my bicep. I felt little pain because of the tight grip he had just below the bicep. Wearing a heavy gray suit, I was thinking that heavy cloth was keeping the pain level at a low point.

The two men demanded my wallet, all the while talking their street-smart talk and vulgar threats. The man on the left finally found my wallet in my inside suit-coat pocket.

Someone yelled. I don’t know who or from where, but the two men dashed away into the thick darkness with my wallet…that was back in the day when cash was still a payment option. There was over one-hundred dollars in the wallet…at that time, a fair amount of money.

I yelled at the men and made a feeble attempt at running in the direction they had taken. I could no longer see them when they were only twenty or thirty feet from me.

Maybe the cocktails saved me that night on ‘Cannery Row’, and, admittedly, I was a little high on booze.

As I walked down the short alleyway and onto the sidewalk, a few people rushed to me, and, somehow, I did not know why…did not know why they were concerned about me.

Then I saw the right arm of my gray suitcoat – it was saturated with blood…the hood had used a pocket-knife as he jabbed me time and again, his grip on my arm so tight I could not feel the penetration into my bicep.

The police came.

I gave them the only information I could give them, described the two men who had confronted me down the sidewalk from the restaurant.

I went back to my Monterey hotel and pondered my loss – of money and of dignity.

A couple days later my wallet was found, credit cards still in their place, but, of course, you know, no money.

So, back to the beginning…

If you have not thought about the calculative gene in your body, be aware every day in your social outings. It can even be a ‘fun gene’ to have at times when subtlety and deviousness are teasing elements.

I’m not saying, ‘live in fear’, no way. Just be aware of who you are AND with whom you may be interacting.

We all have that gene within us, so, be who you are, have fun with it, BUT ‘be aware’.

BR Chitwood – Feb. 14, 2020

-HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY-

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