(Editor’s note: Recently, an amazing turn of events brought Wylie back into the picture. I’d not seen him since Colorado, about two and a half years ago. He wrote a few posts here for me then, and a couple of them still get a lot of interest. But life took us in different directions and a lot of water has passed under the bridge for both of us. I didn’t think I’d ever see him again after I relocated to Northern California. But life does offer some strange twists and turns from time to time; and it was during a particular twist and turn that I bumped into him again–in Texas, of all places! It’s an interesting story, and I think I’ll let Wylie tell it as only he can.)
Who woulda ever thought that I’d show up here again. It just goes to show you never can tell what’s going to happen or when, or who you’ll bump into right after you get out of jail.
I had moseyed on down to Texas about a year ago to see if anything was shakin’ as far as work goes. Thought there might be some bike mechanic jobs down around Austin, since they’re now attracting this big crowd of rich and famous folks, and those are the folks that like to get themselves a big ol’ expensive bike.
Well I landed myself a gig at a place in East Austin that worked on the bikes of mostly hardcore riders that could afford to bring their bikes in for work. Things went OK there for a while, until I noticed little pieces missing from my paychecks. Turns out the owner of the shop had a little problem with rock candy of the Breaking Bad variety. His woman, who handled all the books, was in it so bad she just about crackled when she walked. My situation worsened when I walked into the back office one day and caught her hitting the pipe. Normally, I let folks just do what they want–live and let live. Crash and burn. It don’t matter. Except when it’s the gal who’s siphoning off some of my hard-earned money so she can snap-crackle-pop her limp little brain on a limitless supply of meth. I had a word to say about that, and as you might imagine it didn’t sit all that well.
Next thing I know she started shrieking some crazy crap about me trying to kill her while she reached into her purse and pulled out a gun. I could tell right then that this would likely be my last day at this job. I just wanted to make sure I walked out, as opposed to being carried out. She was higher than a squirrel on a power line, and it wasn’t all that hard to get the gun away from her. I reckon my mistake was pointing the thing at her to get her to calm down. That’s when the boss walked in, probably to take a hit off the pipe with his old lady. He saw me, saw the gun, saw his old lady rocking back and forth and shaking like an old, worn out washing machine on its last spin cycle. He lunged at me, but was so dumb-ass slow about it I had absolutely no trouble turning the gun around so I could smack him a good one with the butt end of the pistol grip, right above the forehead. He staggered around some, then fell forward. Now he’s one of those fellas who isn’t all that tall, but as big around as a redwood tree. He blotted out the coffee table, which crunched to smithereens underneath him. Good thing it wasn’t glass, but one of those cheap, fake wood things you get at the superstore, or at Goodwill if you ain’t got the money. I high-tailed it out of there, not even stopping to pick up the few tools I had at my bench. I figured it was good riddance to the whole mess I was leaving behind in my rear-view mirror. Or so I thought.
I shoulda figured Mr. Bike Shop Owner would have a cop buddy on the force who got a lot of free work done on his bike in exchange for some protection. If I’d just gone to the Greyhound station like my Spidey sense was telling me to do.
But, no. Somehow or another I made my way to the Poodle Dog Lounge over on Burnet Rd in the north part of town. It was happy hour and I was starting to feel happy. I’d gotten myself through a pretty bad scrape and thought it was worth celebrating–and sharing. I struck up a conversation with this guy, bought him a round, let him reciprocate, and kept that deal going for a good hour or two. I shared my adventure of making it out of the meth-head bike shop and it looked for all the world like he was duly impressed. He excused himself to go take a whiz, and about 5 minutes later I discovered that I’d been talking to an off-duty cop who–you guessed it–happened to be buddies with the buddy cop at the meth-head bike shop. Small world, isn’t it?
Before I knew what hit me, about four uniforms walk in, head straight for me, and BOOM. I’m on the ground with a knee in my back and my hands in cuffs.
I forgot to mention the other thing my Spidey sense had been telling me: “Get rid of the gun, stupid!” Once they found it, those cops got even more serious.
There’s a lot more to this story, but y’all are just going to have to wait till I get around to posting here again.