CONVERSATIONS. new year, parents, airsoft.

I'm back again.
I said to the scruffy late 20-something fellow at Emissions Testing as we drove up and pulled to a stop.
How's it going?

Oh yeah, I remember you from last week.
he said.
You going to pass this time?

I said.
No more 'check engine' light. How was Christmas - if I remember, you were going to spend it with your...sister and parents?

he said.
I live with my parents, but only so I can pay them rent. If I didn't pay rent, they'd be out on the street, homeless again. So I pay rent, and they can pay down their debt.

That's pretty cool.
I said.
I hope you got some extra big hugs from them this year on Christmas.

He laughed.
I just don't want them sleeping in their car again. And I got what I wanted for Christmas, so I'm good.

Oh yeah?
I said.
What's that?

Air brush.
he said.

Are you into art?
I asked.

he shook his head.
It's for AirSoft. You know AirSoft? Similar to paintball.

I said.
Yeah, I've gone paintballing a couple times. I know what paintball is.

AirSoft is similar to paintball, except you're basically shooting BBs, and our guns are full-size equivalents to the real thing. We play on this 300-acre field and it's intense. My old team won nationals four times, but then everyone kind of, you know, drifted apart with families and kids and stuff.
So I have a new team now. We're still about a year out from being fully ready.

Sounds fun.
I said.

Oh yeah,
he said.
It's addicting.

(he went into a list of gear and accessories that I wasn't able to completely keep track of, until he got to the last)

...and I've got a GoPro strapped to my head to get everything.

Right on!
I said.

he said, checking his instruments and papers.
Looks like you pass this time through.

I said.
Are you doing anything fun for New Year's Eve?

he said.
I don't party much anymore. Not my thing, except when we're camping at AirSoft tournaments.

I said.
Whatever you end up doing...happy New Year'!

Yep, you too.
he grinned,

and we drove off in our freshly-DEQ passed vehicle.

Happy New Year's, all!

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