Adjustments by Derek Paterson
Copyright © 2000 by Derek Paterson

      Barman leaned over counter.  Kept hands where I could see them.  Wise move.  "I don't want no trouble," he said.  "Finish your beer and get out."  Waitress had told him.  My fault. Should have put on sunglasses before coming inside.
      Pushed glass away.  Couldn't even drink the stuff, not any more.  Digestion changes.  Just wanted to remember....
      "Thanks for hospitality," I said.
      Opened door, went out.  Don't know what I'd been looking for.  Companionship?  Mix with normal people?  Stupid.  Old life was gone.  Had to accept.
      Cop car turned corner, lights flashing, stopped.  Big Texas Sheriff got out, hand on gun.  Didn't draw it.
      "You there, stay where you are," he said.  "Take off your sunglasses."
      Did as ordered.  Sheriff got jittery.
      "Raise your hands above your head, boy."
      Did as ordered.
      "Turn around, put your hands against the wall."
      "Can't do that."
      Sheriff stepped closer.  Red face, cold eyes.  Lips formed hard line.  Made decision, drew gun.  Left him lying there. Don't like to kill cops, fellow soldiers.  Had no choice.  Not my doing.  Don't they understand?

[End of excerpt]

Adjustments by Derek Paterson

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