I bought a stick from a guy with a machete.

The title isn’t a joke, riddle, or really deep metaphor. 

I literally bought a stick on the train yesterday… from a guy carrying a machete. 

 

This guy with a fantastic beard gets on the train, carrying a backpack and wearing overalls that had about 60 pockets. He sits down across the aisle from me. There was no attempt to hide the machete dangling from his pack.

After rummaging through his 60-ish pockets to find his train ticket, an RTD officer pointed at the machete and told him that he isn’t allowed to have it on the train. The officer was ribbing him a bit when he told him that he should at least make an effort to hide it if he was going to ride the rail with a machete. Personally, I was curious to learn how one would hide a 30-inch machete. But this topic was never explored.

Instead, the man quipped back that he would rather wave it around out in the open. He didn’t want to commit a felony by carrying a concealed weapon. Touché, machete man.

After the officers gave him a warning and left, he randomly starts explaining to me that he’ll never give up his machete because he uses it to carve his sticks. He then picks up a bundle of sticks from the floor (which I completely overlooked in the excitement of the machete discussion). All of the sticks were about three feet long, and had the same spiral design carved into them.

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He explained that he had been carving walking sticks his entire life. He comes from a long lineage of artisans. Like Van Gogh, neither he nor his artisan ancestors were appreciated during their time. But he was confident that his work would be recognized once he was gone. He signs and numbers each of his sticks so that their authenticity can be verified after he leaves this world. But in the meantime, he sells them just to make a living.

He pulled out one that he described as his favorite in the bunch. He claimed that it was made of white oak, and said that it took him considerably longer than usual because of the sturdiness of that particular wood. The stick had a fairly aggressive curve to it. The piece as a whole was a little bit bizarre and pretty crudely finished. At the same time, it was unique, and beautiful in its own strange way. As promised, the number “780” was burned into the bottom.

#780

I’m not positive that this was the stick that I would have picked for myself from the stack. But it’s said that the wand chooses the wizard… or something like that. So I didn’t want to mess with fate.

I asked him if that one was for sale. He said that he sells them all for twenty dollars each. I (truthfully) told him that I don’t really carry cash on me, but would dig into my backpack to see if I had anything.  As it turned out, I had a five on me. Apparently, that was enough to seal the deal.

After passing his stick off to its new owner, he thanked me and gathered his things to get off at the last stop. As he shook my hand, I asked him what the “GW” stood for. His name is Garth Walker. His business name is Walker’s Walking Sticks.

So there it is. I bought a walking stick… from a guy named G. Walker… who carries a machete everywhere that he goes.

Just another day on the train, I suppose.

#lightrail #walker #anothermachete

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