But then he stopped.
He stopped his Bronco (I think it was a Bronco) right between me and my parking spot, and then he just stared at me. I could tell from 10 feet away that he hadn't showered in quite some time. His gray facial hair was unruly, overgrown and very dirty. He was probably in his late 50's or early 60's and I could only assume he never missed a meal. Or a snack. Or a case of beer. At first I was a little confused, and then I realized he was waiting for me to move. But I couldn't figure out why. Yes, I was in front of a pump, but there were 5 more pumps right past me. All he had to do was move up just a little bit and he could pull into any pump and I could pull into my parking spot. I, on the other hand, could not pull forward any further for a parking spot. He was blocking the last one.
He then proceeded to make angry hand gestures at my. Shooing me along and pointing to the pump behind me. I, in turn, started to similarly gesture towards the parking spot behind him. At this point, cars were starting to back up behind him, as he was sitting in the middle of the parking lot, and some were trying to go around him.
Then he rolls down his window.
So I roll down my window.
"Your in my way!", he barks at me, "What is your problem?!"
What is my problem?!?!
"Why are you being such a jerk?", I yelled back, "I can't go any further, there's no more parking spaces, I'm just trying to park. There are plenty of pumps, just drive forward."
"I'm not moving", he yells.
And we were yelling. Everyone on the property could here us.
"I'm not moving either", I yelled back, "I've got all day." Ofcourse, I didn't. I was already late for work, but I wasn't going to tell him that. I then proceeded to put my car into park, lean back in my chair and lace my arms across my chest. I looked around like I didn't have a care in the world and then I started to just stare at him dead in the face.
We were at an impasse.
A woman, who had just had to work hard to get around this man to park her car, starts walking towards us, "What is the problem here?", she asks.
"I'm not sure", I replied, "I'm just trying to park, and he won't move."
So she starts shouting at the man to move. He starts shouting back to mind her own business.
And this is where it starts to get really fun.
"Why don't you move your car, you hillbilly!? There's plenty of other pumps all along here. You blocking everyone's way!" She was screaming at him.
"I am not moving until she moves", he angrily points at me, "I want that pump, and she is in my way".
"There is a whole row of pumps right behind her", she screams back, "what are you on, crack or something? Move your car!"
"Why don't you go drink another beer!" he yells back.
This was getting good. The woman was obviously sober and thinking the same thing everyone else was... What was wrong with this man? We had drawn quite a crowd at this point of spectators standing around to see what was going to happen next.
The woman turned to me, "I am going to go inside and get one of the guys in there, you sit tight."
She walked off. Me and the man just sat there and continued to stare at each other. You could practically see the anger seething from every pore of his face. Everyone else just stood around watching us. No one was moving. A couple more minutes passed. Now yes, I realize maybe I should have just moved along, wrapped back around the parking lot and found a new spot. Not because I was in the wrong, but because it most likely isn't the best idea for a 6 month pregnant woman to get into a stand-off with an obviously crazed hillbilly. I probably should have been scared. But I have never been very good at backing down from a bully. Its just not in me.
Just as I was thinking this, the woman was returning with one of the QT employees. He started walking towards the man, waving his arm for him to move along. The
Ha ha! It was a small victory, but I was claiming it. But seriously, what the hell?
As I walked into the gas station, everyone was a buzz. They were all talking about what had just happened. And if they hadn't seen it, someone was relaying it to them. I was also getting a real kick out of the look on their faces as they realized this lunatic had been directing all of his angry, crazy energy towards a poor, defenseless, obviously pregnant woman.
"Are you okay?", the woman who had helped me asked, "I am shaking, I am so mad."
I assured her I was fine and I thanked the wonderfully kind woman, for coming to my aid.
After making my coffee, I headed toward the register. The man had finished pumping his gas and was there checking out. I ducked behind a row of chips, deciding that without the armor of my Santa Fe, I was better off avoiding any more interaction with this nut job. I pretended to continue shopping. I then peeked over the tops of the chips. He was gone. It was safe. I paid for my coffee, and the random crystal light I picked up while "undercover", and walked out the door. I was relieved to not see the bronco anywhere in sight.
What a way to start my morning. Instead of focusing on how crazy and angry this man was, I have decided to take something else away from it instead. Looking back I am so grateful for the woman that stepped up and came to my defense. She didn't have to do that. She could have easily went right into the gas station, minded her own business and went on her way. But she didn't. And for that I am very grateful.
I might just still be sitting in my car having a stair-off at this very moment.