Lessons Learned.
Lessons Learned. stories
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mitchellwestbro
mitchellwestbroCommunity member
Autoplay OFF  •  a year ago
A hot morning...he has arrived at his destination...this chile stand is exactly as the homeless man had described it... the young traveler has come here for one reason and only one reason: spicy peppers...he has been told that habaneros are delicious...he is skeptical...he'll try them and judge for himself...

Lessons Learned.

A hot morning...he has arrived at his destination...this chile stand is exactly as the homeless man had described it...

the young traveler has come here for one reason and only one reason: spicy peppers...he has been told that habaneros are delicious...he is skeptical...he'll try them and judge for himself...

he has eaten bell peppers...they're good...the homeless man he spoke to assured him that even though they were hotter than bell peppers they taste better...

the traveler walks up to the stand and asks for one habanero...he pays and looks at this little pepper in his hand...indecision...he plays with the pepper for a minute...why not?...

he pops the whole thing in his mouth and begins to chew furiously...thinking it'll be quick and not too hot...hoping to catch the taste but miss the burn...a mistake...

he must've misunderstood somewhere...there was no taste...only fire...a hellfire that was searing his mouth and throat...his eyes water involuntarily...he wipes at them with his hands...

another mistake...now his eyes are burning too...it's too much...too much...this devil pepper has killed him...he believes this...he begins to choke and sputter...

laughter rings out from the old man at the chile stand who has sold him the pepper that has killed him..the traveler cries out for water...if he can get water...maybe...

just maybe he'll live...seconds pass...the traveler is blind and dying...water hits him in a steady stream...what the hell?...is this bastard spraying him with a water hose?...

the traveler is stunned...it's either stupidity or cruelty...he cant tell and can't be bothered caring...he wants to live...he lurches to his feet...

using the incoming water as a guide he gets to the hose...it's the work of only a few moments to clean his eyes enough to see...then his mouth...finally his hands...

he's so engrossed in his task he didn't even notice the old man walk away...till he notices him returning with a small rolled up paper bag...

the old man hands it to the young traveler, grins, and then walks back to his stand...the traveler assumes it's something for later and is just glad to get away from that place...

soaking wet and humiliated...he walks down the road in the direction of the highway...a little over a mile away he climbs a small fence on the side of the road...

a couple yards back is a large rock jutting up from the ground...on the far side of the rock is his backpack...it's not a large backpack...he doesn't need it to be...

the only posessions it holds are: a tarp, a thin sleeping bag, 15 feet of rope, a pocket knife, some beef jerky, a bottle of water, 7 pairs of socks and 2 changes of clothes...

this is all he needs in life...he has learned from the past that cities and towns are dangerous...he never sleeps in them anymore...even if he has to walk for miles...he will...

whatever distance it takes to get to cover outside town...the wilderness is safer...the wilds are simple...people are not...for now this is his spot...

he lays claim to it because no one else is there...it's that simple he strips and changes into a pair of shorts...

ruefully he considers how if he'd put them on this morning instead of jeans the walk back here wouldn't have been as uncomfortable...laying his wet clothes in the sun to dry...

he spies the rolled up paper bag the old man had given him...smiling to himself he grabs it up...unrolling it and opening it quickly...he can't believe what he sees...

inside is 200 dollars and two more habaneros...tears fill his eyes and he silently thanks the old man...and forgives him for spraying him with a hose...

he walks over and rummages through his bag...checking each pair of socks till he finds the one he's looking for...this pair of socks is different...

rolled up like all the rest you wouldn't know it had over a thousand dollars in it. $1,314 to be exact...about to be $1,514...this young traveler is not stupid...he knows greed exists...

in his wallet is 27 dollars, a few business cards, coupons, and some plastic grocery store discount cards...just enough stuff to make it look like his life is in there on first glance...

would be robbers will walk away thinking they got everything...really they got nothing more than what he was willing to give them...

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