He had on a nice white shirt but I was hesitant to give him a hug. He had just messaged me that he only had three dollars to his name and his pay hadn't come in yet so we couldn't meet at the BBQ place. I had almost canceled on him but with no place else to go and an hour to kill I was curious about this fellow. We met for a cold drink at a Mexican Place across from Dennys and down the street from where he lived.
He had said he lived in a nice area but it was far from nice in my book. It was close to the mental health department and in the middle of three stripper clubs. I made my way past the homeless carts and thru some alleys to pull into the parking lot. I was already feeling on the spot because I had a car and he didn't.
I listened to his stories as a young fellow mopped the floor all around us with Pinesol in his mop bucket. The Mexican music was almost too loud to hear and then there were several tables of people who crowded in on us too. My lemonade was soon gone but I was too tired to get more having just come from work. I just sat and let his stories wash over me like a grey sea.
He had been a designer engineer and used some of the first virtual software to get automatic measurments and 3D renderings of builds. He saw the demise of drafting in the classical sense and worked hard for many years. Then came the stress and he apparently couldn't handle it. Doing too much with too little help and support from his company. He spent the next several years as a long distance truck driver.
He had the soul of an artist and showed me pictures on his phone of some very nice oil and pastel renderings of boats and reflections. He showed me pictures of the model airplanes he built and sold. They were works of art and could fly. He worked in a warehouse where he lived in this odd part of town. He told me another lady he had met online wanted to redo his house even before she met him. He didn't seem to want to be redone.
His hands were swollen with carpal tunnel problems and he wanted to get disability for that and his bad back. He said he had a lawyer working on his case. He also had a thumb that was misplaced. It might have been the Pinesol fumes that made me hallucinate but I think his thumb was crooked and longer than usual. I didn't ask him about it and it kind of scared me for some reason.
He showed me pictures of his morning fishing with his brother in the ocean surf. His eyes glazed over when he told me I was the ninth lady he had met in person online and that was the termination number. He had been married twice before and had a twelve year old daughter who he saw on a regular basis. There was nothing bad about this fellow just a heavy grey feeling that he was sinking in quicksand before my eyes.
We did talk for a long time. Or rather he talked and I listened. He had said he was non religious and non political. But as his mind unfolded he told me of being able to see visions and knowing that the end of the world was coming in 2012 because he had seen tsunami waves suspending time in the ocean in his visions. He told me he liked Mc Cain but not Palin and that he was disgusted with Obamacare. I didn't need to hear much more.
I made my excuses and jumped into my truck. I was so glad to have transportation and a mother who helps me so that I don't have to be dirt poor. Gratitude was the emotion I felt most as I roared past the strip joints and out onto the freeway and away to the mountains far from the warehouse district where this fellow lives. I never heard from him again.