As I was plotting my day out on a flow chart and trying to fit all the things in it that I wanted to accomplish, I heard a knock at the door. It was the Sheriff.
Apparently he was bored and thus, had to interrupt my day. Not that he isn't a nice man, I just was ready to tackle the world and did not want to get side tracked. Well, it didn't last long.
SHERIFF MIKE: Want to go to the Annie Oakley museum and go antiquing? Court with the wife got me all stirred up yesterday and I need to get out of town for a few hours.
ME: I am your only non-senior citizen friend, aren't I? Who has no life and no kids and no husband? And the most exciting person in the neighborhood?
Long pause, followed by a "yes."
How could I say..."No." So I didn't. Sheriff Mike and I share the same interest in history, gardening, antiques, and unique things.Traveling to Ohio was longer than usual even though it wasn't very far. I was just tired...still...didn't have enough coffee and needed a nap.
It wasn't far down the road until we arrived at a place in the middle of nowhere which he often does and I have PTSD thought of serial killer moments. He pulled into this old barn like place and I looked up to see we were by a river and looking at an old mill. "1849" was stamped on the building. I guessed I had just gone through the motions while driving down the road and I had no memory of the conversation.
I got out and went inside.
I think I was a kid in the candy store. Here was an old mill on the river with beautiful walking paths, gardens, and inside was a posh art gallery and shop. I lost the Sheriff. I think he was behind me, but I was so engrossed in the art that I was in my own world and enjoying the welded objects, glass art, paintings, pottery. Blah blah. The artists were freaking genius! And if I had the money, I would have purchased some pieces. They were that good.
It wasn't long before I saw free gourmet coffee offered in the corner of the gallery. Heaven. As I poured a cup for myself, Sheriff Mike came up behind me and frowned.
ME: Dude, this is an oasis in the middle of nowhere. Old restored building. Exquisite art gallery. And this!
SHERIFF MIKE: It's coffee.
ME: Look. It's iced coffee on the left and hot on the right. You have to at least try it. It's free and if you don't like it you can throw up. Besides, I am beginning to think you are a cop imposter. Cops drink coffee. Most of us are coffee connoisseurs. I am a coffee snob.
SHERIFF MIKE: Nope. Can't do it.
ME: It's Rainforest Crunch. You know...tropical bugs, medicinal flowers, nutty undertones, monkey balls.
SHERIFF MIKE: They seriously put all that in that fancy coffee? Why don't you just drink Folgers.
ME: Folgers sucks. And no. I'm kidding. None of those things are in the coffee, except maybe monkey balls.
SHERIFF MIKE: Nope.
ME: Fine. Be a party pooper.
I wandered throughout the 4 stories and took pics of the old mill, was mesmerized by the river running under the building that you could see through a glass floor, enjoyed the art, and then drug the Sheriff outside.
My eyes spotted an old iron gate and I headed that way. It was heavily wooded, a yard lamp was illuminating nearby it was so dark. I touched the gate and just stared at it. I'm sure the Sheriff knew what I was thinking because I told him I wanted an antique iron fence around my back yard.
SHERIFF MIKE: I could make you that, you know.
ME: You can make this?
SHERIFF MIKE: Yeah.
ME: You are not a cop. Cops can't make stuff like this. We have zero talent in welding something this intricate. Someday I will be able to either find something antique like this and put it back there or pay you to make it.
SHERIFF MIKE: You don't have to pay me. I have tons of metal at the shop.
ME: Yes. I do. I will save my money. I will take a picture of this for you.
SHERIFF MIKE: No. I have it all over the shop. No need to pay me.
ME: Ok. This is where Fargo helps you. You make fence. I pay you. Free stuff leads to bad stuff and hurt feelings.
SHERIFF MIKE: I don't understand.
ME: Nothing in life is free.
SHERIFF MIKE: What?
ME: Ok. We need some boundaries.
SHERIFF MIKE: Ok. Why?
ME: Ok. Today, I am going to teach you how to be a cop. I can't teach you about anything else, because I suck at everything else. Today you are getting lessons. Maybe you will understand boundaries by my lessons.
SHERIFF MIKE: Ok.
ME: Lesson number 1. Do not dip the pen in the company ink. That means current coworkers, former cops, and neighbors. I meet two of the three requirements.
SHERIFF MIKE: I'm not sure I know what that means.
ME: It will come to you, Grasshopper. Lesson 2. Cops drink coffee. Real cops. Get to crackalackin'. We will start you off with International Coffees Swiss Mocha. They suck, but you will like it. Grocery store tonight.
SHERIFF MIKE: Ok.
ME: Lesson 3. Don't build fences for girls for free. They will think you want something in return. Some girls will return favors. Some girls have guns. I am one of those with several guns.
SHERIFF MIKE: Yeah. I'm not getting your analogy.
ME: *blink*blink* Ok. Did we not just have a conversation last week? Did I not do the duck and roll, run to the house.
Long pause and thinking.
ME: It's a senior moment, isn't it?
SHERIFF MIKE: Well. Ok. I think I know what you are talking about.
ME: Ok. Just because a girl is fun and exciting to you, doesn't mean she wants you to try to get down her pants especially when she is going through a divorce from a serial killer. She just enjoys having a friend who has similar interests.
SHERIFF MIKE: Ok.
Awkward. I just went on and didn't ponder that much longer. It was a linger subject, not a dwell.
So...we finished our walk through the river, the 1849 dam, the stone walled garden. While I was still gazing at the river, Sheriff Mike went into the shop and returned with a brown bag and handed it to me. It was the coffee I had tried that I liked. Very nice, however...
ME: Thank you very much. Fences, dude, fences. Now, what do I owe you for this?
SHERIFF MIKE: It's a gift.
ME: No. Fences. Boundaries. Remember?
SHERIFF MIKE: It's coffee. I won't drink it.
Soon, we headed to Annie Oakley's museum. It was a long quiet drive, but not very far from our location.
SHERIFF MIKE: What kind of music do you like? Let's put it on a station you like.
ME: [smirk] They don't have my kind of radio stations around here. I have to listen to my iPod.
SHERIFF MIKE: What kind of music do you like?
Long pause. Silence. Palm to head.
ME: Yep. I knew that would end our friendship. And you need to stop doing the palm to head thingy. It's head to steering wheel now...head to desk...or head to dashboard. Keep up with the times. Those criminals are going to sneak by you and know you are old school.
SHERIFF MIKE: Ok. [flips through stations] No, I'm going to find one that has rap music. It is just noise, but we are going to listen to it.
ME: Uh, No. Heavy metal is just noise. Rap music is beat. Rolling dirty.
SHERIFF MIKE: What is rolling dirty?
ME: *blink*blink* Ok. These lessons are going too fast. [finds an 80s station] Let's start with this song. What is it?
SHERIFF MIKE: I have no idea.
ME: It's Footloose. The movie song. You know?
SHERIFF MIKE: No. I don't know.
ME: [finds another station] Ok. Let's try this. This is an easy song. Flo Rida.
SHERIFF MIKE: Who's that?
ME: Just never mind. Listen. Ok. Move your head like this. Look out your window at your surroundings. You need one hand on the steering wheel.
I can't even describe it. Sheriff Mike's rhythm is worse than mine. I think Elaine from Seinfeld is better. It was serious business. I was teaching an old cop new tricks and I couldn't laugh. I had to turn off Right Round because the lyrics were bad.
SHERRIF MIKE: Oh...he's singing he's going down. Like the police are spinning him in an arm bar and taking him down?
ME: *blink*blink* I don't think we are going to explore the lyrics of this song right now.
SHERIFF MIKE: Ok.
ME: [trying another station] Ok. Maybe we are moving too fast. Who's this?
SHERIFF MIKE: I don't know. Maybe the Eagles?
ME: Ok. The Long Run. We are getting some where. Feel the music. Move your head to it. [yikes bad images]Ok. Stop. Just try moving your hand to the beat on the steering wheel. New song.
SHERIFF MIKE: Like this? [tries to find the beat to Karen Carpenter that just came on the radio.]
ME: Ok. Who's this?
SHERIFF MIKE: Sounds familiar.
ME: Dude, it's Karen Carpenter. You have to know your music peeps. It's important. You need to practice at home or in the squad car tonight. Someday you can move on to my CDs, but that is way too advanced for you right now.
SHERIFF MIKE: Ok. How about some Bob and Tom?
SHERIFF MIKE: National public radio? You don't listen to that stuff or Patriot Radio?
ME: Are you clan?
SHERIFF MIKE: What? No.
ME: Dude, a little NPR late at night is fine. Daytime. No. Only old people have that as their favorites station. Seriously? You would look better if you had the Weather Channel or Fox News on. Maybe you need to get satellite radio in here. I was about to tell you one more road trip with NPR all day and I was going to eat my gun, but I was being nice and trying to drown it out with conversation.
SHERIFF MIKE: [not hearing a word I just said] Satellite. That would allow me to listen to all kinds of talk radio. I might like that.
ME: [palm to head]
SHERIFF MIKE: Hey. Caught ya! It's head to dashboard.
I think these senior moments are going to kill me. I can't wait to go to work and have stimulating conversation with someone my own age. Or younger. Beat me.