I've been considering the significance of numbers for about six months now, since Sept 11, 2012 actually. I remember thinking I was sick of hearing "9/11" tributes etc.. wished I could insulate myself from all that some way short of locking down in the survival bunker under the house with only Gumby and Poky as company.
Passing annoyance I thought then. Shake it off. No big deal. Get a grip.
Then "the thing with the 11's" started. In short, every time I looked at a clock it was something 11. Usually an odd number and eleven but not exclusively. I could be working, lost in tasks for hours, then pull my phone out of my pocket to answer, or make a call.
1:11, 3:11. I kid you not.
Not just sometimes, but nearly every time. Now, between 11am and noon or 11pm and midnight, I JUST DO NOT LOOK at a clock, but invariably, after those onerous hours pass I'll relax a little and glance at my phone, or the stove clock, or the bank clock down the road.
Yesterday, I was driving in my truck eastbound on 111th. Realized I was thirsty, had nothing to drink, and wouldn't be home anytime soon. Checked the digital time readout. Shouldn't have bothered. It was, of course, 1:11.
I was a little hungry too. Dammit. Started looking for a place to pull in and grab a small bite and some iced tea, and what should appear on my left?
Now, I've never been in one of those before. Heard the place was owned by one of those evangels that I can barely stand (how small minded of me), one of those men of faith that think gay people can be "re-trained." Well, I'm hetero see, but not in my estimation because I chose to be. Is what it is; we are born how we are, no more complex than that. Blows my mind that some people think differently than me. Morons..
Yeah well, I pulled in. Had to park because the drive thru line was backed up way around the bend. People around here LOVE Chik-fil-a, apparently.
Decided to stir the pot a little. Walked in and waited in line. Busy inside too. Finally when it came my turn I asked the little dude, kind of loud . . .
. . "do y'all serve queers?"
He tilted his head at me inquisitively and replied "hold on big fella, I'll get the manager to answer that question for you."
People both sides of me were giving me odd glances of disgust, then turning away as I tried to make eye contact. Those behind me switched to other lines since I had caused a stoppage to the chicken dispensing in ours.
The manager appeared then, hand on hip. Dude looked exactly like Prince, the guy from Minnesota that sings Purple Rain. He gave me a once over with his eyes, down and back up, then said . .
. . "you had a question?"
By then I kind of wanted to just get the hell out of Chik-fil-a but was committed at that point, determined to carry out my little civil disobedience thing, so I asked again, loud,
"DO Y'ALL SERVE QUEERS?"
More dirty looks from the other patrons. Coughs and sighs . .
Prince put both of his forearms on the stainless counter and leaned over towards me; motioned me in closer. As I leaned in he retorted, twice as loud as me ----
"YES, we serve chicken to anyone that walks up to this counter! I'm sure some of them are gay, but let me tell you this cowboy, I've never once seen a customer quite as queer as YOU! Woo hoo, is that a tape measure on your belt? Scruffy face though well trimmed. Mmmm mmm mmm, I swear big guy, YOU ARE HARD! Now what can I get you?"
In my smaller voice I asked "could I have some of them there chicken nuggets and a tea? Thanks by the way."