It's Friday afternoon and I am pulling into the parking lot at the TCF bank on Lexington Avenue. Before I can take care of my banking needs, I will have to navigate a maze of asphalt to get there.
In Saint Paul, there must be some unknown ordinance that prohibits a driver from going from Point "A" to Point "B' without turning 15 times.
So now I pull the bread truck up to the last needless intersection and off to the left is a Green & White Taxi van sitting there.
He sits there, keeps sitting there, and 1-2-3-4-5 he's still sitting there.
So Klecko decided to go, and wouldn't you know it, the second I inch 1/2 way into the intersection.....dude puts the pedal to the metal and lays on the horn.
"HONKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!" goes the Green & White and then dashes right into a parking space.......
There wasn't a space next to him, so I parked 8 spots prior to where he was now getting out of his van. I also got out and began to walk at more than a brisk clip toward him.
For those of you who are reading this over seas, that last statement means nothing to you, but if you've lived in the 651 or 612, you know for a fact that Klecko never moves quicker than an "amble" unless there is about to be action.
As I got closer, I deduced that the guy might be Somalian, many of the peeps in the transport biz are from there in the Twin Cities, either way....the guy was 1/2 my size, and unless he was trained by Shaolin Priests, I'm guessing he stood a snowballs chance in hell of throwing down with this old Pollack.
"Son of Beech - Son of Beech, you could have got me killed!" he said......
I walked closer.
"Dees is bullsheet that you almost hit me and killed me and my family!"
And now a woman dressed in traditional gear, you know...the veil and full bodied garment wrapped around her springs out of the sliding door on the side of a van, and then a little girl trails behind her.
"Dees is Bullsheet etc-etc-etc" and now a crowd starts to form.
If there's one thing I've learned in life its people who hit, they don't talk smack first....they just clock you and get the he** out of there.
People who talk trash, just do so for a couple of reasons. First off, they are afraid and it is their hope that if their performance is believable, they might avoid physical conflict through verbal intimidation.
And another reason is maybe their ancestors were in the same bowling league with my relatives, you know...the fathers, uncles and granddads that subscribed to the theory that an a** whooping was a small price to pay to keep your "reputation" in tact.
As you lied at home on the couch with a black eye or a busted lip, you could always manifest some lame excuse as to how your opponent got lucky by catching you off guard with some "Sprite Trickery".
I've worked very hard on keeping violence tucked away in an emergency kit....but I can't lie, my body was tingling, my hatred had peeked, and Polish Jesus and the Saints of Warsaw seemed a million miles away.
But when I saw the wife and daughter, I realized I just could drill the guy. Whether it was worth it or not isn't even the point. If you are pretty confident that you can win a conflict, and you do this in front of the idiots wife and kid....you are simply worse than them.
Even the Nuns will stop praying for you......
So I turned my back (while keeping my ears in tune with any hurried footsteps approaching me) and started to walk in the bank.
While I "ambled" up the sidewalk, I saw the look of disappointment on the faces of the people in the parking lot.
Had Pilate been available.....I think these people would have pressured him into forcing me and the Taxi dude to resolve our differences with fists,clubs or blunt instruments.
So now Klecko's emotional range is spinning like a roulette wheel.....
One second I was sickened by witnessing the human condition, there stood a group a people who wanted to watch 2 guys they didn't know bust skulls for their mere entertainment....they made me sick.
But then 1/2 second later, I wanted to oblige them.
So now I'm 20 feet away from the guy, and now he says something like...
"It is best for you that you go inside because...."
That did it, I spun around and went back to "Brisk Clip" mode and headed straight towards him. The vultures eyes lit up like freeway headlights.
I hate to employee drama in these posts, shoot....if you live a real life it seldom is needed, but....I'll say it.
At this point I had every intention of knocking this guys di** in the dirt, but I really don't know what happened. I really don't.
When I turned, and dude saw me turn....he knew, his wife knew, and I'm guessing even his 6ish year old daughter knew.....he had crossed Klecko's line.
And for the splittest of split seconds, I saw abject fear in his eyes.......
Taxi Man -
"You think you are tough? You are lucky you didn't kill my daughter son of a beech."
I Think dude was playing to the crowds sympathy, a dead daughter sounds worse than a dead wife.....my little vultures wouldnt have any of it, they wanted blood.
Taxi Man -
"You might not be so strong as one thinks you is"
We are separated by a cats tail now, and as I towered over him he kept yelling insults.....
Taxi Guy -
"Are you done little man? Do you think your wife is impressed yet? You are little, so don't be foolish. Stop now before the worst happens in front of your family, or simply just finish me off.....right now, don't talk, just kick my @#$&*%$ A**"
Dude just stood there.......
"Are we done? Can I go now?"
The crowd put on their zombie make up on in unison, even they knew they weren't going to get to watch their own species pummel one another.
I did go in the bank, deposited money and went about my life.
Saturday I went to work, we had that Oktoberfest Retail, then I went and spent the rest of the day with Sue McGleno...La-La-La happiness and love prevail.
But today I decided to go work out during the Vikings game, if you hit the gym then, there is nobody around.
Other than a kitchen, the gym may be the only other place I feel a sense of comfort being alone.
I don't wear an I-Pod, I don't bring my phone inside.....I just lift the heaviest weights I can, and it opens things up for me.
Today while bench pressing, my conflict from Friday raced through my mind. As I lift, and lift I tried to rewind what exactly put my mind in that mode.
The answer was obvious........
Gilson (my Pastry Chef) put in her 2 week notice that morning.
She has taken a new position at a place that is going to offer her new challenges. I get it, and I expected this.
One of the things that I have always loved about her is her gypsy spirit. when she came aboard, I would have bet a dollar to a chimp that she would stay no longer than a year, but I was blessed to get double that.
If you are honest with yourself, anger doesn't come from hatred, it comes from sadness.
and even when life turns it's dial into a new direction, a direction that will be positive for everybody....it still stings.
I'm putting this on the record for 2 reasons.........
#1 Is to thank the Polish Christ for stapling my hands to my trousers. There are reasons why people need a good slug down, but bickering in the banks parking lot doesn't even come close.......I give thanks unto thee.
#2 I don't have an ounce of anger in my heart, but a ton of sadness. I have stated numerous times that it is so unpro to hire friends, or be friends with your co workers, but I will be willing to go against my own wisdom continuously when Debora is concerned.
Everyone at the bakery values her.....but for me, that's not enough. I love her, and consider her to be one of maybe 5 people in this world that I would want to give opinions about me at my funeral......
Deborah Gilson....best of luck to you my friend.