It happened in IHOP one cold March day in the winter of 2002. My new boss, “Wild Bill,” arranged the meeting like a barbaric marriage ceremony. He believed, naively, that an omelet with my new associate would solve what the Civil War did not. I slid in, waving off the hostess before scanning the room for a skinny low life in a blue uniform. Our meeting was on his turf, just north of the Rappahannock but I wasn’t intimidated! He was from the north, a Yank! and I – from these Confederate states of America. Ahhh… there he was. I spotted him… alone there like a sitting duck among the reeds. I marched to the padded blue pleather booth with my finger floating anxiously above my trigger. He spoke first, “Hi, I’m Colby” – what, ah… the nerve! How dare him be friendly after all the gunfire, all the lives lost, all the families torn apart by the spoils of war! Two could play this game. “Hi, I’m Clint”, I said. The excessive friendliness continued through the meeting and to this day.
So as I sit in my chair and look to my Rebel banner hung high upon the wall I am forced to wonder how far my adversary will take this excessive kindness… this overflowing fellowship before he makes his final fatal move. Today a book arrived off of my amazon wish list… who could have done it, maybe my lover, maybe my family, certainly a fellow confederate. But no, its from the friendliest foe I have ever known.
I surrender, I am a tired warrior against a patient opponent and I surrender.