I have an odd gift that I’ve never been able to explain, but it’s helped a lot of people, so I don’t complain. Too much.
The very first time it happened, it was a cup of coffee. I don’t drink coffee. Hate the stuff. But in my dorm room, I had the urge to go to the student center and order a cup of coffee.
I distinctly remember telling the barista, “Whatever. Just as hot as you can make it.” A few minutes later, as I was walking back to my dorm room, I heard a scream.
A woman, someone from my dorm, in fact, was being attacked. I took the lid off of the cup of coffee and threw it in her assailant’s face.
His face was horribly burned; my hand got some of the coffee on it, too. I still have a surprisingly wicked scar to this day.
Whenever I feel the urge to make one of these purchases, I always use it within about ten minutes. I always save someone in the action.
Either a prevented rape, or an abduction, or a murder… But there’s always a cost. I’m injured in the process. Every time.
Nothing terrible yet, just a burn or splinters… the worst injury I’ve gotten so far was a deep cut from a glass dinner plate, bought at Wal-Mart, I used to slit a kidnapper’s throat.
My wound needed stitches.
But today, I as stand in this liquor store in this sketchy neighborhood and buy a corkscrew, I can’t help but wonder who I’m going to help and how it’s going to hurt me this time.