I felt a little restless last night, so I stopped at the local pub to grab a pint and watch the last part of the Ducks game. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the fellow sitting next to me said something Ducks offensive prowess. I nodded my agreement and continued watching the game.
A few minutes later after yet another Oregon touch-down, the same fellow let out a small whoop. Then he addressed me. “Hey man!”
I threw him a side glance. “Yeah?”
“That was a great fucking play. Pound it!” He extended his fist at me.
I scrutinized this fellow who was demanding that I fist bump him. He was a rather scruffy-looking gentleman, probably in his late forties or early fifties, who bore more than a passing resemblance to Michael Rooker of Walking Dead fame. His knuckles were calloused and lined with grime, and he appeared to be using a cigarillo as chewing tobacco.
I normally reserve fist-bumping for moments when I’m feeling exceptionally bro-tastic, and this was not one of those moments. However, one of the unspoken rules of sitting at the bar is that Thou Shall Not Be An Asshole, and moreover, this fellow looked like a Rough Dude, so I acquiesced to his request, then made a mental note to scrub my knuckles, later.
Mr. Walking Dead felt that having shared knuckle-to-knuckle contact, we were now buddies, so he proceeded to open his heart to me.
“Yeah, man, my son just got back from Afghanistan. I asked him if he had the – what to do you call it? The postpartum?”
“You mean, PTSD?”
“Yeah, that’s it. I looked him straight in the eyes and said, ‘Son, don’t fuck with me. Do you have the PTSD?'”
Apparently his son told him that no, he did not – although I’m not sure that if I did have PTSD, my father would be the first person I’d tell. And if my father asked me if I had Postpartum Depression, I definitely would’ve responded in the negative.
This fine chap then proceeded to tell me that he had recently separated from his wife a few weeks ago. I made some sort of vaguely sympathetic remark.
A few minutes later, his attention having wandered somewhat, he then told me that about his “Oriental” girlfriend, who he had been dating for some ten-odd years. I wondered if this little tidbit of information had something to do with his recent separation, but I had the deep sagacity not to say anything.
Having regaled me with his marital curriculum vitae, he asked if I had a girlfriend. When I replied that I did not, he clucked disapprovingly and offered to buy me an escort. I demurred.
Shortly thereafter, he got up to use the restroom, and I discreetly paid my tab and left.
So yeah. That happened.
Maybe I’ll just drink at home.