This morning I was having coffee with Pat. Michael walked into the coffee shop, put-together as usual. However, today he has bloody marks on his neck and face as if he had cut himself shaving. [Oops, he has a full beard.] But I won’t ask him about it. If he comes my way I will greet him as any other day.
He was wearing a green T-shirt with a Harley-like skull-like Marine logo with lettering that said Marine Recon.
Apparently Pat and Michael have started a conversation about this before. Pat asked Michael where he got his training.
Michael: Fort Bragg, North Carolina. [So far, so good]
Pat: What did you do?
Michael: [His mood darkens.] I don’t like to talk about it. It triggers my PTSD. I don’t like being questioned about that. I told a woman at the VA not to question me. “Call the police if you are going to question me.”
Pat: I wasn’t questioning you.
Michael: [Tone of voice gets deeper and more ominous.] Yes, you were.
A friend that he was with asked Michael to come up to the counter to order his breakfast. Michael and friends got their food and went outside. Disaster averted. I remarked to Pat that the conversation was uncomfortable. Just after our conversation took a natural turn to something else, in walked Michael. He walked over to Pat.
Michael: I am totally disabled, have been for 25 years. Prisoner of War camps do that to you.
Michael took out his wallet, and took out a card. I couldn’t see the card clearly, but it wasn’t a normal business card. It looked to be more like a credit card, complete with a magnetic strip.
Michael: [to Pat] Here, take this.
Pat: No. I believe you.
Michael put the card back into his wallet. Without another word he leaves the coffee shop.