Lyle's Blog

Memories from Truck Stop Days

Sunday, February 17, 2008

MICHAEL

He sat on our front lawn, warming in the sun. As I approached, he jumped to his feet in a defensive manner. “Are you just trying to get warm”, I asked. “Are you going to have me arrested?”, he challenged. “No”, I said, “I’m not here to harass you, but to find out who you are and if I can help.”

I asked if he was a vet (it seemed obvious by the camo gear that he carried). He asked if I served and where. I felt that he might have been a Vietnam vet so I explained how I never reached land but served off of the coast. I told him that the General Manager had been Army Airborne though. “Well”, he explained, “I never served overseas, I was a guard down in San Clemente, California during the Nixon years. That was 27 years ago though. He told of having to don full battle dress to ward off war protesters. He said that he had to once stand outer guard at the age of 19 where he was the first line of defense against those same protesters.

He got out of the service and then couldn’t find a job so he began to ride trains all over the country. He said that the hardest place that he had found was Montana. He said that he originally went to Montana to help the Militia learn new tactics but they only laughed at him. “Montana is a vile place. They say that they are anti government but they are really themselves, the establishment. Just look at their legalized gambling. They make it sound like you are helping out their local government with the proceeds from the gambling but really, they are only fattening up their own back pockets with money from poor folks that think that they are doing it for good.”

I asked him where he was going. He said nowhere, that he was just surviving. He said that he was considering digging a hole in the forest somewhere and living off of the land.

I had to assure him a few times that I wasn’t bringing the police in. He told of getting off of the train in Pasco Washington and being accused by the police of raping a local girl when he had just arrived in town. He then started off on a group of stories about police violence that made no sense but all lead to a story of a shop lifting conviction which he claims is the only thing on his record.

He walked into the store to buy a bottle of beer and a razor. He said that the owner of the store was swearing and using the lords name in vain which angered him so that he placed the razor in his pocket for fear that he would get angry in the spirit and take it out on that owner. He paid for the beer and forgot about the razor. Once outside the store, the owner called the police about the razor and he was arrested, had his hair cut, and spent three nights in jail.

I told him that there was nothing that I could do to help him with the road but I didn’t want him to go away hungry. I sent him into the diner for breakfast but refused to give him money for booze.

I later joined him inside at the counter when I had breakfast. I noticed that he had brought his Bible with him so I struck up a conversation regarding it. He asked me what church I went to and I told him Baptist but the church denomination meant nothing. That a belief in Christ is the real need and all of the different denominations where like icing on the same cake. He said, “It’s more like the same greased pan. All the churches want is money, they don’t really care about you.” “Not so, I countered, There are good people in every church that do the work while the rest are there, I admitted, just for themselves”.

Fire seemed to shoot from him eyes as he was confronted. “There is one thing that you never argue about if you want to be someone's friend”. “They are Politics and Religion.” Seeing that I had struck a nerve, I said “OK”.

But he kept talking about biblical things so so did I. “The church triumphant is really todays church militia.” He stated. “isn’t that rather zealot?”, I asked, “Jesus was a servant, he wasn’t a radical.” “The hell he wasn’t!”, he retorted, “ He threw out the money changers. He brought down the Roman Empire along with a few others and he will bring down this world also.” I said that Christ was a servant, that he taught us to think of others first. The Bible states, “A soft tongue breaks bones.” “I think that Christ used that many times.”

With fire in his eyes he glared into mine. “Don’t quote scriptures to me, that is blasphemy” “Why is that?”, I asked. “No one can quote from God’s word but God himself. You are only quoting what someone interperate anyway.” “God’s words are God’s, not yours.”

Then with those same cold eyes, he told me, “Do you know who I really am.”. I am a Demon hunter. I hunt demons, and I rip their heads off just like taking the tops off of a beer bottle.” He then began a dissertation of various things of the Bible, Christ, and the Devil. His zeal seemed to be growing and my lack of backing down seemed annoying to him.

Not wanting to make a scene and seeing that I was getting nowhere (pagan that I am), I shook his hand and said, “I best get back to work.” “Well, thanks for the breakfast.” The fire seemed to subside as I got up as if he really didn’t want me there. “Good luck with your demon hunting.”, I stated as I left him there at the counter.

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