Dear William, I 'm just glad you are safe and did NOT go inside. That would have been a disaster waiting to drop throughout the vicinity. Sometimes, we think we will know what to do in a case like this but the adrenalin races and the head spins and, as you said, you want to get home to the important things in life-like your family,

I can tell you from experience, when I was (twenty-something and working at a community mental health center, doing front desk intake, a man came in brandishing a gun and rattling off his concerns, in Spanish. He pointed the gun at me and I froze. I had a pen in my hand and I just squeezed it hard to stop myself from shaking as I looked at him and muttered several "uh huhs" and "uhs."

There was no one to call (both med techs were out to lunch and the doctors were isolated where they could not hear me even if I tried.) In addition, my Spanish was verrrrrry limited. I did get the part about "You shut up and go to hell." This was odd because I had not said anything yet except "uh.uh..." but if he was a mental health patient, he could have been talking to anyone.

"Por favor, senor," I finally managed. Then I tried "En que puede servirle?" It was from Chapter One of my high school Spanish text "El Camino Royal."

Praise the Cosmos because at that moment, not only did he put the gun down on my desk but his friend came walking in and chastised him for wandering off, and he apologized to me.

"I hope he did not frighten you," the friend said. "You look very calm. You are OK?"

Apparently, they were together but he stopped to look at a storefront and lost track of his friend.

I am one of those people who remains relatively calm in a crisis, then I break down like a girlie girl after it's all over. This was an exception. I may have looked calm, but I was more than afraid from beginning to end and beyond.

And after all that, the man's friend assured me there was only one bullet in the gun, so... I felt so much better.

You did the right thing, William, thinking about the important things. For starters, MEDIUM wouldn't be the same without you. Life is short so savor every day and always remember those important things.

License plate numbers aren't always that easy to see or write down or remember, especially when the pressure is on. That second dude might have seen you and whacked you from behind.

Everyone be safe, is right! And stay in your lane. This does not apply to acts of police brutality. If you can say something, or do something (like film the incident), get right ON UP IN that lane!

Yes, peeps, I know that's three prepositions in a row.


Peace IN!

Word lover, grammarian and writer of unknown books and screenplays. I hope to be rewarded posthumously, and by deductive reasoning, that’s not very far away.