What you’re looking for

If there has been one thing that has been a constant on this road trip, it has been stopping every few days to purchase some new t-shirts. At some point on this journey I started to only wear DKNY white t-shirts and so my custom has become, stop in whatever place I happen to be near, and if need be, find some shirts.

I was leaving a Marshalls store outside Biloxi with a package of v-neck white t-shirts. I am not sure how I can adequately describe the comfort level of these particular shirts without using some sort of sexual metaphor. Suffice to say, if my love life was as comfortable as one of these shirts, I would probably not have put 3500 miles on my car driving alone.

As I was leaving the Marshalls store I was accosted by what appeared to be a huge homeless man. His size and demeanor spoke volumes of his capacity to intimidate, but I am not shy about much, so I nodded at him as I stepped past. He grabbed my right arm, very tight around the elbow, and said “what you’re looking for won’t define you.” He then released his grip and I walked away. When people violate your personal space, no matter what the reason, your adrenaline rushes in, your sense of fear and power are immediately tested and if you are anything like me, you prepare for the worst. I walked briskly to my car.

The Fiat engine hummed to life with the flick of the ignition and I sat in the sweltering sun, the air conditioning raining cold air upon my sweaty face, the adrenaline from my brief encounter fading. What did he mean, what I’m looking for won’t define me? All I was looking for was some comfortable shirts. I found those, nothing more.

As I pulled away from the parking lot, a lone voice on the stereo began to sing from a great distance, “once he’s gazed upon her, a man is forever changed.” I pushed hard on the gas and counted the miles until Mississippi was a distant memory.

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