Jim was slowly sipping his morning coffee, knowing it was too hot to drink but still fighting through the burning tongue sensation, knowing he didn’t have much time left before he needed to head off to work. “The Red Sox lost in extra innings last night, hun” he said to his wife Mod. He knew she wasnt a fan, but she always acknowledged his sporting tid bits, knowing how much of a passion it was for him. “They need a deeper bullpen, thats what the problem is”, she replied while continuing to wash the dishes that pilled up from the night before. A deeper bullpen wouldn’t help the redso, he thought to himself, it would be more of the same recycled aging pitchers we always get. He didn’t speak these thoughts out loud, because he knew Mod wouldnt understand and she probably wouldnt want to continue this conversation anyways.
Thats what marriage was, Jim figured; just enough interest in the other’s interest. You didn’t need to mutually share a passion, as long as you could entertain there conversations long enough to keep them satisfied. “I suppose I’ll be late for supper tonight. Bill from IT is retiring today and the fellas down in the department are throwing him a little goodbye party. Do you want me to bring you some cake? I reckon there will be cake.” Jim asked his wife, whose attention hadnt wavered from her dishes task. “No thats quite alright, there is still a piece of pie left in the freezer, and if I dont eat it tonight it will go bad.” Mod finished her last dish right as Jim was ready to finish the last sip of his coffee. The following routine was the same one they had been doing for the 17 years of marriage they shared; Jim gathering his days belongings and meeting his wife at the door for a peck on the lips goodbye.
“Show me your fucing hands”, screamed the man holding the gun and standing on Jim’s front porch, right as he opened his front door. “Show me your fucking hands right now!” Jim couldnt believe the turn of events his morning had just took, but he tried insisting on the man to calm down. He dropped his suitcase and his jackets, and threw his arms up in the air. “No, dont put them up, show me your hands. Show me the back of your fucking hands! And the lady behind you too! Get her out here and both of you show me your hands!” Mod didn;t even have time to scream before Jim grabbed her and brought her along side him the the front door. “Here, HERE! what do you want to see? You can have anything you want inside the house, just take it. Please don’t hurt us. We did nothing to you!” Jim tried to tell him in a calm demeanor that wouldn’t come off threatening to the man carrying the gun.
“No. NO. Thats all wrong. All I can remember are the hands. These arent the hands.” He frantically paced back and fourth on the front porch, scratching his head, trying to make sense of something neither Jim nor Mod knew anything about. He slammed his gun against the railing and yelled something unrecognizable before turning the gun back on the panicked couple. He shot them both in the head before running off the front porch, through the lawn, and down the street.
Nigel had been taking his Golden Retreiver for his morning walk when he heard sounds from the distance that he thought sounded like a car backfiring. In his mind, this was the first and only plausible solution to the noise he just heard, because he had never heard the sound of gunshots before; at least, not in real life anyways. the sounds you hear on tv and in movies do no justice to the ear shattering BANG a real revolver makes. Nigel decided to continue his walk, breifly acknowledging that he was walking in the same direction that he had just heard the sound from, but thinking nothing of it.
Soon after turning the corner off 6th and onto Hastings, he saw in the distance a man running toward him. Again, his brain set off no alarms, as seeing a man running easily and quite simply tells the reasoning sensors in your brain that it is just a person out for a morning jog, or in this case, a sprint. It was three, maybe four seconds after that, that Nigel started noticing that this man was not in common running attire at all, rather jeans and a button up shirt. This set off some alarms in his mind, but only the ones that make you look at something with a curious “hm, I wonder what is going on here” approach. Our brains have developed and created a set levels of danger in our minds. If we reacted to every little detail, as the ones that were now unfolding in front of Nigel, with panic, we wouldn’t be able to make it through our days without a mental breakdown from the sheer amount of paranoia daily activities would cause. While the events were causing escalation in curiosity, there was no reason for our brain to alarm us to anything that may cause us danger. Occasionally, a human being has these “Levels” broken inside which cause a person to lose their mental stability and not be able to be a functioning member of the normal society. Drugs can do this, as can mental disabilities.
When the man running towards Nigel in a pair of jeans and a button up shirt was approximately 30 feet from him, he came to a sudden stop as his eye met those of Nigel. This was the first real time in the last two minutes that Nigel’s brain started setting off some alarms. The brain was starting to simultaneously recall thousands of memories and organize them before it set off this alarm. The backfiring car. the man running. The man running in non-jogging attire. And now the man coming to a sudden halt while approaching Nigel. His brain was now beginning to formulate an opinion of what was transpiring before him. It sent down two possible answers to Nigel: 1) this was just an awkward situation he had found himself in. Course of action? avoid eye contact and continue walking past this man. and 2) This man had shot someone with a gun and was fleeing the crime scene. Having come upon Nigel, he deduced him to be a witness. Course of action? 2a) Try and speak some words and figure out for sure what is going on or 2b) RUN.
“Sorry, is there something I can help you with? Is something wrong?” Nigel began to speak to this stranger. Sometimes, even when our brain sets off panic alarms, having never been in a fight or flee situation, we do not know how to react. As a result, we rely on what we know; conversation.
“You, come here. Show me your fucking hands right now.” Nigel now had a good visual on the item the man had in his hands, which was also now pointed at him. It was a gun. Everything fell into place inside Nigel’s mind, and he now had a good grasp of what had just happened. It was as if a story had been written these past three minutes, and just now Nigel was beginning to understand the plot.
When this final stage happens inside of a brain, the brain releases an insane mix of chemicals to help you deal with the situation at hand. Adrenaline being the key ingredient, the neccesary tool that your body always stores for survival situations. However, most of us do not know how to utilize Adrenaline to its full potentional, and as a result allow fear and panic to cause adrenaline to do nothing for us rather then make us shake. This is what was happening to Nigel. Poor Nigel. Grew up in suburbs. Wealthy parents. Private school. Never been in a fight, and barely any verbal altercations. Experience is often key in life or death situations. Sometimes, even if we have none, we can still manage to overcome the overwhelming odds and survive.
Nigel threw up his hands, letting go of his dogs leash. Poor Nigel. Had he ever sensed any danger in his neighorhood, maybe he would have trained his dog to attack on cue. Or at the very least, let out a mean bark. Unfortunately for him, never once had he felt any danger in this neighborhood, and soon after releasing the leach, the golden retreiver ran over to smeel some neerby bushes. In the last 15 seconds the man had stepped closer and closer towards him until he was no more then four feet away.
“Show me the back of your hands, show them to me NOW!” Exclaimed the man, in a tone angrier then any Nigel had ever experienced. He obliged, lowering his arms slowly and sticking out both of his hands for the man in front of him to see. Nigel’s knees were shaking so frivorously that thought they would buckle at any moment.
“Who are you? I don’t remember these hands. Why don’t any of you look like you are suppose to? WHY ARENTS THESE THE HANDS I REMEMBER?” Yelled the man wearing jeans and a button up shirt. He hesitated breifly to take a closer inspection of Nigel’s hands. Once again, his face was overcome with disdain, and he Shot the man infront of him right through the head. Poor Nigel.
To Be Continued