Fried Bologna and Spam Sandwiches

I woke up missing my father terribly this morning. I have always meant to talk about him more here, to share both the good and bad (and there was definitely both), but it has been hard with the transition, with the changes in my life and just how tired I have been.

Dad and I in 1972, always had a tight bond.

This last couple weeks have been really bad, I have wanted desperately to call him and talk to him and my mother. I did it daily until I was 45 and he passed (I talked to mother multiple times a day for five months after that until she passed). However I never got to tell them about my transition fully (we talked a little, that is its own story).

This morning though I really missed the quiet times we spent together. It wasn’t super regular, but it happened regular enough that it was an expected feature.

He would come in and wake me up at a very late/very early time (somewhere between midnight and four am). He would be drunk sometimes, stoned sometimes and sober a lot of the times. He would sneak into my bedroom and have me get up and take my blanket (even at the age of 14 or 15) and we would go out into the living room. Even though he was my father, we snuck around like we could get in trouble. He tried to do this with both my siblings, but neither one of them were ok with being awoken at one in the morning, I have always woken easily and I loved these moments. So other than a few exceptions, it was generally just me and him.

An example of late night watching tv with my sister and brother. They definitely weren’t as fond of it. Sorry the image is not retouched yet. That colored blanket/bedspread is the one I remember the most and I think we were watching Legend of Hell House.

He would just talk to me about the day, he would ask me all about my day, if I was in sports, chorus or orchestra he would ask me about that. We would watch a movie (usually a horror movie) together. Often he would make me a snack, one of his famous fried bologna or spam sandwiches, maybe some bratwurst or kielbasa, or if it was a good day one of his (and mom made this too) no-cook peanut butter oatmeal bars. We would sit and watch the movie and it was pretty spectacular for me, even as I became a teenager. Weirdly enough the movies I remember the most were Telefone and The Legend of Hell House.

These were quiet times in what was a very stressful life of violence, drugs, bikers and homelessness. I never complained or minded doing it at all. This morphed when I moved out, but never went away. I have horrific insomnia that wakes me up after midnight or one am anyways, and my dad would sometimes call me at super early hours and we would talk. I never had my ringer on so if I wasn’t up I wouldn’t’ wake up. I would just notice in a morning a call had happened and a voicemail that said simply “I love you Lucky.” I so miss those voicemails, and I am so angry I didn’t save them. It is hard to think of a world where your dad isn’t in it with you, before he is gone. I never fully considered that in time, funnily enough even though I stressed about him and mom passing for decades.

In a very rare blue moon before we moved out of Bellingham, but after I was with the hubby, I would go over there and we would sit in the living room watching tv early in the morning, with a single lamp on one of the side tables. While we drank coffee and had something to eat. In the last few years before I moved to Seattle and this was only via phone I had begun to bring his favorite donuts, Hostess raspberry filled powdered donuts, along with myself cooking the meals. He wasn’t able to get around like he did when I was a kid. I never thought my fried bologna sandwiches tasted as good, but he promised they were better than his. Maybe they were for him.

Dad and his dog Nikka

We still talked though when we didn’t meet in person. He would just chat with me, tell me things he was worried about, he was proud about with the other kids, or just how our family friends were doing. I would do the same. I think he liked talking even more when I was an adult. He didn’t have a lot of support network and when I could be there as well as an adult I think it helped. It helped me because he would listen to me as well.

So I woke up this morning in an unfamiliar hotel missing my dad. I feel guilty that it is only my dad I woke up missing. I love my mom, but our relationship was more complicated and it was my daddy I was missing.

Mom and Dad

I just thought I should start sharing more about my feelings and what I am thinking here. So here you go, the reason I spent most of this morning crying. That is hard because I never cried pre-transition, I am still not sure how to handle it. You would think that three and a half years later after his death this wouldn’t happen, but that’s isn’t true. You don’t get over people, you just adapt to the new circumstances.

I love you dad, and I really miss our late night/early morning tv watching.

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Tired…

This was originally a Facebook post I posted earlier this morning, so if it isn’t cogent… I blame Facebook.

People make me tired. This is a long rant so please scroll on by if you are inclined.

I was in a line at Safeway yesterday standing behind this older looking guy (but probably not really any older than me). He is a little shorter than me and I am dressed in my blue skirt and a black top (with red under shirt). I am grumpy, but I am feeling fairly good with my look.

He stares at me, looks away, turns back and stares again but this time makes some sort of “hrummph” sound, looks away, looks back and makes a motion with his hand and mutters “what?”
Continue reading

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Office Situation

I currently share an office with a pretty cool guy named Tom. He and I get along, he hasn’t had any problem with my transition and it is just a comfortable situation.

Yesterday our boss came in and told us that we would have to move into cubicles. The department hired someone else that would need the office and we will have to move out in about 3-4 weeks to two cubicles smack dab in the middle of a full office staff.

We were both frustrated, annoyed and a little pissed. Our position requires space for a lot of files, and to meet with people. However, it is true neither of us are supervising management. We checked out the cubicles and they aren’t horrible, but they are in the middle of everyone.

For the rest of the day I was annoyed. I felt it was because now it will be loud, and there are others there that I suspect track each other’s breaks and stuff and we won’t have the space we are used to. It bothered me a lot, more then it should. I totally agree its ok to be annoyed but honestly I logically realize it isn’t a big deal.

I got home and the hubby commiserated with me, and he brought something up. He said I am probably upset because I feel safe in my office and now I am in the main area with everyone. I am no longer in a safe spot, with someone I can trust.

I hadn’t even considered that, but he is right. This is the first time I have had to sit in a public space since I fully transitioned and it freaks me out. Partially its irrational, and partially its because I know some of them dislike me (well, that plus its loud and there are break watchers). So now I am anxious and pacing.

I know things should work out, but it is going to be anxious for me, and I am glad my hubby is so understanding. I realize also that most have to go through worse, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is new for me, so I will forgive myself that.

I am going to miss this office.

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Highway to Hell and my dad (music/memory)

ACDC has always been part of my life as far back as I can remember. My parents listened to bands like ACDC, then others like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Queen, etc.

My strongest memory of ACDC though is one Sunday morning we were getting ready to go to church. Church was a rare event for us, my father always had issues with religion after going to Vietnam, and this was one of those days where he was deciding he didn’t want to do it anymore.

My dad a year later, still with that rolling cigarette tobacco sitting next to him, and my little brother.

I was 13 years old, living in our Lombard street apartment with my dad cranking up ACDC at 8am. They had been on a party binge and we all knew my dad wasn’t going with us to church (secretly I was hoping I didn’t have to go).

There had been an argument between my mom and dad over this fact, and my dad said “fuck that, I am staying home and listening to music”. This meant he would probably start drinking while we were at service and that Sunday would be a continuation.

We got dressed and were getting ready to leave, with my dad rolling his cigarette and sitting in his chair. ACDC’s song, “Highway to Hell” was blaring out and my dad was singing to it.

Just before we left my mom started yelling at my dad again. Then something strange happened, and I am not making this up, I watched as the stereo system starting making a clunking sound. Within a few seconds the cassette mechanism spit out the tape and Highway to Hell stopped playing as spooling cassette tape was everywhere.

I watched my dad just stare at the tape deck quietly for a moment. Without a word he stood up and got his coat, then he said, “C’mon lets to church” and we went.

This never permanently effected my dad, the religion problems continued, but he never played loud music and told my mom he was staying home to listen to music again either on a Sunday.

For your listening enjoyment, an oldie but a goodie!:

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Jessie’s Girl and Wolsey (music/memory)

See bottom of post for pronoun disclaimer (note 1):

Jessie’s Girl has a special place in my heart. It reminds me of my husband and the time before we got together (before he was my wife, or even girlfriend). The song fit pretty squarely as part of the soundtrack of my life. This was because when I first met Wolsey and fell in love, Wolsey was dating my best friend Doug.

I met Wolsey when I was 17 years old and had just moved to Bellingham WA. I was a virgin, going to my fourth high school in 2.5 years and I had just found a group of friends to hang with. My best friends at the time was Doug  and Jay.

We had met in a geeky Dungeons and Dragons game (and this was summer of 1987 I believe). By the end of that school year (so summer of 1988) my friend had shifted from being a geek to being a stoner/punk (I didn’t, I was sort of my own thing… think older brother from Stranger Things but from a biker family but who is a geeky gamer).

The advantage of Doug and Jay shifting from geek to stoner/punk was meeting new people and one of those new people I met was a very beautiful young lady who eventually would change her name to Wolsey after we had been married for decades (original name is classified as Wolsey hates it).

Wolsey was friends with another girl named Colby and they were also in the punk scene. Colby dated Doug for awhile, and I met Wolsey a couple of times. I thought she was pretty cool, and I was attracted to her. The better part though was I felt like we could be friends.

From R to L: Rob, Colby (laying down), Doug, Wolsey. (yes there is a censor line, the photo reveals a little too much).

Fast forward through teenager drama and Doug and Colby broke up and Doug started dating Wolsey. This meant I saw Wolsey constantly and we became best friends. I introduced Wolsey to Dungeons and Dragons and while Doug and Jay would play but fuck around, Wolsey and I both enjoyed the role-play, the story telling. I learned that while Wolsey looked punk as fuck (and hippy sometimes, Wolsey would float between the two) Wolsey liked reading, stories and was super creative.

Doug and Wolsey moved into their apartment together and I was there all the time. Doug would bail on us and a lot of times it was just Wolsey, myself, with others in our social group hanging out. It was fairly soon after we started hanging out with each other like that, that I fell in love with her (him).

It really was angst with a happy ending!

However, Wolsey was dating my best friend and I absolutely would not do something like try and break in on that. Funny enough the next time I was in this type of relationship situation with another woman I went the other way and not sure that it was any better a result.

Funny enough my parents both knew Wolsey well by this point and tried to get me to pursue her (him). I told them there was no way she was interested in me, and both my parents shook their head and said that Wolsey would be perfect for me (they were right in the end… damn them 🙂 ). Although I still to this day wish I had listened to my parents and done it. I didn’t realize they were right and she had a thing for me at the time.

The first time I noticed Jessie’s Girl as a song (it had been out for awhile) was when I was sitting in Wolsey and Doug’s living room. Doug had just been an asshole to Wolsey and stomped off. Wolsey was sitting there looking annoyed and frustrated and the song started playing. That was the soundtrack of how I felt about her for a couple of years. For some reason the song kept playing that summer too, even though it had been out for a few years.

I never wanted to jeopardize our friendship though. Even with how fucked up my childhood was (or maybe because of it and what my dad did try to instill) I tried to remain the paladin, true to my word and to my friend.

The other large part I didn’t act was that I truly truly loved being Wolsey’s friend and I never felt like I was in the “friend zone”. In fact I valued our friendship above everything and didn’t want to jeopardize that.  It is why I can’t stand friend zone people and incels. The other person owes you nothing (and Wolsey absolutely owed me nothing, I was just happy to get Wolsey’s friendship).

That is how it was for nine months as my best friend (well he had sort of drifted away as being my best friend to be replaced by Wolsey) and his girlfriend lived together and I would go over and visit. As a side note, in all fairness Wolsey was interested in me, showed me several clues but I was too shy/resistant I didn’t follow up. My romantic soundtrack for that time period was Jessie’s Girl.

I do realize now as a fully mentally formed adult that the song can be problematic, but I still like it and it reminds me of when my husband Wolsey was a pretty girl dating my best friend before she (he) usurped that spot and replaced Doug as my best friend.

Disclaimer Note 1: Let me get a clarification out here, I do refer to my current husband in historical terms as my friend, partner, etc. I also refer to him as my “wife” or “girlfriend” sometimes when talking about a memory when I was younger that happened before his transition. Sometimes I do this because it gets hard tracking who is who in those stories.

He is ok with this, as I am ok with him referring to me as his husband or boyfriend when recounting memories. It is hard with pronouns, especially when in context memories and of referring to us both as people we no longer are (myself as a boy back then and my husband as a girl back then). Just a FYI, he is ok with the pronoun use.

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Sometimes good shows up

I post a lot of stuff that is a little more negative about transition. Today however I have some beautiful stuff to talk about.

I had been out auditing an agency and when I wrapped up I drove the 45 minutes back to town. On my way back I decided I wanted a Costco hot dog, and that is what I thought about the whole time.

I got to Costco and went through my Costco hot dog purchase. The lady behind the counter was super sweet. She called me sweetie like five times and it was a good experience.

I walked back to my car with the hot dog, excited by the bad for you goodness I got to eat when I sat down (it was too packed in Costco dining area).

That is when tragedy struck me…

There was much sadness and gnashing of teeth. I was going to go back to the office and cry when I decided I could afford a second hot dog.

I went back to Costco, walked in and went to pay for another hotdog. All the ladies in Costco food were calling me sweetie, asking how my day was, etc. it helped me some

When I was getting rung up I handed my cash and I mentioned I had to come back because I dropped my hot dog. All of a sudden she stopped and pushed my money away. A second lady was shaking her head and saying “Honey, no money from you, we can give you a new one”. Then they all started yelling don’t pay for it, just take it.

The girl who sold me the original hot dog was screaming from the dishwasher area in the back to give me a free hot dog as well.

I asked them like 12 times if they were sure, they wouldn’t take any money at all. That single unasked concern for me reassured me and made me feel better than I had in days.

I can’t express the good it did for me, except I needed to share it.

Thank you Costco workers for being you!!!

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Music

I had forgotten how much I liked music.

I couldn’t honestly tell you when I stopped caring about music. When I was young I loved music, hell I used to sing in the shower (albeit not well). However, at some point I stopped. I am sure it was the depression from dysphoria and a traumatic childhood, but I couldn’t tell you when.

I wasn’t ever really good at music either. In elementary school I played the violin for a few weeks before they took back all the “loaner” instruments. Turn around five years later and I did play the bass in middle school. My parents couldn’t afford a violin (I was super poor) but there was an extra bass that the orchestra teacher had access too.

At the time I didn’t like it, I thought it was the secondary equivalent of being a wallflower, I hadn’t realized it was the same fingering as a bass guitar. That lasted a year and I was pretty good at it. Not orchestral good, but good enough I didn’t get booted out of the orchestra.

Eight years later, at the behest of my girlfriend, I auditioned for a choir. They loved my bass voice and wanted me in, but I ended up breaking up with her the next week so that never went anywhere (sadly, I do still have a pretty deep voice with my transition, that will need to be worked on probably).

Up to age 26-27 I would collect music, listen to it a lot and just enjoy it. My music taste runs from Russian Opera, to rap, country, rock, metal and folk. Pretty much I liked everything but R&B, and to be honest I like R&B now (I disliked it then for no obvious reason). Somewhere around that point I entered my depression and didn’t touch much music. I listened to a lot of audio books, podcasts, or when I listened to music I didn’t notice it.

Fast forward to age 47 (right before I turned 48 in August) and all of a sudden I love music again. I want to listen to it constantly, it triggers a lot of memories (each song almost has a theme, or memory associated with it). I also have been thinking about doing something music wise, maybe learn to play the keyboard or something. Not to be a “musician” but to just learn something new.

I am sure my transition and my depression cracking and releasing me are what caused this. I even want to go dancing with my husband, and I have NEVER wanted to dance as a boy. Not a single time, even when I went with my husband (my wife at the time) I would watch from the table when they would dance.

I think the weirdest thing is lately the memories and associations with songs (sometimes with brand new songs I have never heard before as well). My therapist once mentioned music sometimes can unlock things, and my survival trait growing up was to forget things, a habit I do even to this day.

So the music now effects me not only emotionally, but also my memories. I think I am going to start posting songs here, with a brief memory/association I have with them. It lets me work through things, remember both good and bad things, and maybe deal with all the shit I packed away for 48 years.

So there is that, you are all stuck with future posts with me and music. If its transitioned related association I will crosspost to Suddenly Straight, but otherwise it will just be here.

I am just thankful that I like music again. I think it means things are changing below the surface, not just on the skin level, and that really gives me hope.

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Heartbeat… TERF Fuckery

I will be honest, before my transition I was so shut down that I would see articles like this, they would make me mad on behalf of the target, but it didn’t truly bother me. Now it does.

The short story is that the lead developer’s girlfriend of Heartbeat, a game well loved by the LGBTQA community went on a TERF rampage on twitter. It turns out that the lead developer herself is also heavily TERF and they are both hateful creatures. You can read more about it here: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/heartbeat-trans-suicide-rate/

I won’t go into the whole sordid stupidity. What this post is about is my frustration at people like that and people in general (such as my previous transphobia post). I read too much around the Heartbeat drama and now I am anxious, unhappy and really debating limiting my exposure to certain subjects. This doesn’t do me any good to read this shit at 3am and definitely not be able to go back to sleep.

As a side note, I am not a lesbian (I am sure my husband is relieved to hear that) and I am attracted to both genders. While I have dabbled with boys before transition before my husband, I never had a standard relationship with one and I wasn’t sure if I would seek someone out that was male to begin with. So I assumed when I was younger that if I ever transitioned I would have been a lesbian (this is before my hubby transitioned). Although I think that identity had more to do with my dysphoria and inability to deal with my own penis situation then being actually only into women.

As for the developer and her girlfriend (lesbians), I am ok with people who don’t want to touch me because I still currently have a penis and they don’t want to touch a penis. I can separate my genitals from my personal identity, after all pretty much everyone else has already done that. All I ask is that the recognize me as a woman. Maybe not talk about me, or avoid me.

What I hate is the spiteful rage I hear, and even worse yet the quiet behind the back talking. This is why I hate this at work as well, the silent judging, the whispers at the next table, or the silence when I walk into the room.

I just feel tired all the time from attacks from religious people, then from our government, and the worst… from our own LGBTQA community. I didn’t understand when my husband said he felt tired, or when other trans people said it. I thought I did, but I had no clue. However now I do feel it, a constant picking at me by external sources. I can only imagine this must be what its like (and maybe worse) for people of color or who follow Islam. I always had empathy for that, this just makes it more. It also means I think I would step even further out (even if it endangered me) for the other minority groups.

I just don’t get why TERF’s think my existence is taking away from them. Then again I never understood minority groups who find even smaller groups to pick on, doing the same thing to those smaller and weaker groups that is done to them. I get that it is a power thing, and a way to make themselves feel better, but it isn’t something I have ever done and it is frustrating. You don’t have to date me, but why do you doubt who I am even after science, psychology and myself tell you who I am.

This has gotten me to thinking though, after reading the lesbian TERF hate from the Heartbeat dev and her girlfriend, it dawned on me that the demisexual I thought I was, may have been more of dysphoria reason then I realized. I am not sure why it came to me now, but I think I am less demisexual and my desire was impacted more by dysphoric feelings.

I like boys, girls and nonbinary (or any other combination). What is in someone’s pants doesn’t make me hesitate for a moment. I used to think I only liked people I connected with, but more and more I am thinking I was only interested in people I felt safe with. My gender has always been an issue (as has my genitals), I just hadn’t realized until more recently maybe I am pansexual with dysphoria then anything.

I realize I just mixed topics, and I will explore the sexual identity later, I just felt it kind of dovetailed with the lesbian hate for some reason and I wanted to share both.

Mostly I wanted to say I am saddened by TERF thought patterns, but in the end they are garbage and can go fuck themselves right along with the religious fundies, both are irrelevant and wrong.

FINALLY:


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Rough day (transphobia)

Yesterday was harder than normal, and represents the third day in about a week of hostile encounters. I realize this is the new normal, but I figured I would share them.

The day started with me going to Safeway to pick up some paper bowls. I was wandering the paper bowl/plate aisle when two older black guys come wandering up. As a clarification this is not the same guys who were at Safeway in my earlier post.  I knew this was going to be an issue because they had parked in front of me outside and had been talking to each other and pointing at me.

To be honest I was worried, which is something I haven’t gotten used to, as they both walked up. The smaller guy within about 3-4 feet of me. They started talking with me and started getting pushy on who I was. The biggest thing I remember was them both saying “What is up with this shit” and then hand waving at my clothes and boobs.

I sputtered for a few moments not sure what was going on and eventually figured I was going to get hurt so I went off about how they would hate losing to a girl with a bigger dick then them. By no means did I think I would win any confrontation. I am a hundred pounds lighter then I was, and a good chunk of that was muscle. My husband tends to be stronger than myself now. However, my feral childhood and parents instilled a “last great act of defiance” mode and I guess I hit it in panic.

Surprisingly both guys just stopped and watched me. They then looked at each other, nodded and walked away. I don’t by any means think I may have intimidated them, but I do think I made the cost of any more harassment not worth it to them and I will take it.

I couldn’t figure out why they approached me though, until my husband brought up he thought that they might believe I was a pro. That they were seeing if maybe I was for hire. It sort of makes sense, I know there are chasers out there and I saw my husband get propositioned a few times (and heard about it even more) before he transitioned. It makes a little more sense, and wit that knowledge I think next time I will handle it different.

Even so, that wasn’t the thing that bothered me most that day, that was still coming up.

I got to work and a couple hours later I was talking with a couple of my lady coworkers. It was confirmed by one of them that there is a large selection of women who won’t use the restroom if I am in there. I am fairly sure they are the same ones that don’t respond if I say hi, or walk away.

To be honest I am not surprised. It is fairly common that I will be sitting in a stall and a lady will come in, stop and turn around even though there are other open stalls. This happens even faster if I am standing at the sink putting makeup on, or washing my face. A large portion of women will step in, look at me directly and just turn around and leave. I have even said hi when they come in, they just stare at me and walk away without saying anything.

I know that is weird because most women who don’t run from me won’t stop talking to me in the bathroom (which also freaks out my socialized as a boy self… but I am getting past that).

I have seen it in other places such as the lunchroom where a group of women will start whispering when I come in the room. I figure it is something about me, or my clothing. It is worse though when I step into a room and a bunch of women stop talking and they all just watch me get into the fridge and get my lunch. I think the silence is worse.

None of this is new, the being accosted is something I am starting to expect outside. However, the work situation bothers me a lot. I don’t like it when people I am around are uncomfortable about me, or actively hate what I am (there are a couple that do that).

The one good thing about my coworker confirming that, is it confirmed I wasn’t crazy or misreading people. At least I know I am seeing clearly and that is important to me.

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2 encounters in one day – Main Street Gas and Grocery

It turns out that my day didn’t end with my Safeway Encounter, but rather was a long continuation as I stopped at People’s Park to eat a yogurt and then went to the Main Street Gas and Grocery to get some lotto tickets for my husband (it is right across the street from People’s Park).

Sitting at People’s Park and taking a picture

I have been to the store a few times, and there is a gentleman who is always there. He is always polite to me, but I can’t tell if its in a weird way (almost an “interested” look, but I am too new to this to know for sure). However it was the closest place to Safeway to get a lotto ticket (Safeway couldn’t sell any).

I went in there, pulled cash from the machine and walked up to the counter behind an old and very drunk hispanic man who kept telling everyone that he didn’t want Trump to send him away.

I am waiting there and he turns and notices me and says “wow you are tall beautiful”… obviously super drunk. Don’t get me wrong, flattering and all but I still don’t pass and I knew he was drunk. He obviously caught up to that a few moments later.

His face screws up in a question… “are you a man or woman?” He has that drunk voice, as he sways a bit. I smile but was a bit more uncomfortable and was all of a sudden a little more wary. The man is half my size so he isn’t a threat, but I was still a little wary.

I say “I am a woman, it cost a lot of money to become one.” The gentleman who works/owns the store smiles when I say that and nods, and is already starting to tell the drunk to leave me alone.

The drunk seemed confused and started talking when the store guy starts yelling for him to leave the woman alone. The fact he referenced me as a woman without blinking made me feel good. Meanwhile the drunk takes a few moments as he takes my hand. He leans forward and drunkenly says

“Don’t let anyone say you aren’t beautiful.”

I have seen that kind of shifting in opinions of drunks, and it wasn’t unexpected. I was partially happy to get the compliment but I wanted to get out of there before things went awry. As I left the store guy walked up to the homeless guy yelling at him to leave the woman alone and buzzing a taser threateningly. The old guy left, I left.

I talked with my hubby I found out a man had been stabbed in the parking lot and died there at 1pm the previous Thursday (one week exactly before).

https://www-1.thenewstribune.com/news/local/crime/article234797627.html

 

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