Yesterday, I took a parking space in a crowded shopping center.  I heard a horn honk  once.  I wondered for a second where that had come from?  I got out of the car, and walked a few paces when a man walking 20 or 30 feet ahead of me, turned, and snarled:  “Nice move.”

 It didn’t make sense, except that I knew I had just been verbally attacked.  I responded with a rush of indignation and anger.  “What’s that?” I quickly yelled.  “You have an issue?”  “Yeah, he said, now turning and stopping, allowing me to catch up with him.”  We stood there face to face.  “You took our space.  We were waiting for that space.”  “You own that space?” I asked.  “Why do you assume I even saw you?  I had no idea you were waiting for anything.”

But I was steamed.  “So you got an issue.  Take it up here, now.”  “I am” he said.  “No, if you’re going to do something about it, bring it on, but don’t yell across the parking lot.”  Now we were into it.  “Well, I said, are you just talk?” He walked away, but his sidekick now appeared out of nowhere, and challenged me.  “You got a problem, let’s solve it right here.” he said.  He walked up very close.  I held my ground.  I was holding a lap top.  “OK, I said, we can do that.”

I put the laptop down gently on the ground.   Now he grew silent.  He was a guy maybe half my age, and twice my weight.  “I’m ready” I answered.  His older friend now came up, and took him by the shoulder.  “Let it go.” he told his friend.  Let’s go.  Come on, he said, just drop it.” The younger challenger now decided to blink.  He walked away quietly with his friend.  I turned to see two or three spectators hoping for the big fight.   They smiled.  I shook my head, and continued on my way to the barber shop.  I sat down to wait my turn.  Only then did I realize how much adrenaline had pumped into my blood.  My heart was pounding rapidly, and my hands trembled.