Manhood – from the inside out – an invitation from a stranger

I was outside the Lawsons at 4th and Sackett sitting next to the ice box outside the store when a police car pulled into the parking lot. When the cop got out of the car, he glanced my way, paused for a moment, my heartbeat surging. I struggled to act indifferent even as a drop of sweat slid down the side of my face, causing a chill, and I shuddered, contained it, and let out a long, cool breath.

“You okay?” the cop said. He had blond hair, a wisp of combover, and a narrow mustache. He pulled up on his utility belt, the leather groaning from newness, a nickel-plated revolver holstered on his right side.