Following the Man in the Trench Coat

Do you ever follow someone for no reason? No reason other than curiosity? I did this the other day. Turns out we were going to the same place, 5th street parking garage, but once we got in our separate cars we went our separate ways.

I was at the corner where people usually go straight across and then keep going straight, or turn left. I usually turn left because it gets more sun in the late afternoon. Trench Coat (his name, since we don’t know his actual name) came from my right, the direction of the Capital building and a slew of other state administration buildings. The trench coat Trench Coat was wearing caught my eye. On this day is was over 60 degrees, the first day that it actually felt really nice outside. Everyone had their coats off, carrying them awkwardly along with their work bag, lunch bag, etc. But, Trench Coat left his coat on. Why?

Was he hiding something? If so, what was it and where did he get it? Maybe he was sick, and genuinly cold? Or, maybe he was from Florida and 60 degrees is coat weather for him? All of these were real possiblities, and had me curious: where would he go?

We crossed the street at the same time, towards the same sidewalk. I was going straight across the street, he was coming from my right. We almost bumped into each other as our feet landed on the sidewalk, but we both took it in stride. He took a right, so I kept walking straight. The shaded route. Interesting.

I slowed my pace a bit and fall behind him so it obvious I was following him. Where I would turn left to go the parking garage, he turned. I follow. Where I would go in the parking garage, he entered. Turns out we both take the stairs in the far corner of the garage instead of the elevator, even though we pass the elevators right when we enter the parking garage. We both probably had the same though, “Everyone takes the elevator.”

Not only do we take the same stairs, but we get off at the same level. Level 3. It’s where you park if you arrive after 8:00am but before 8:30am. Why does he arrive then? How does he get here in the morning? Does he stop for coffee? If so, black or with cream and sugar?

We walk in the same direction and he becomes less interesting. But it was still an interesting walk, so I snapped a picture (the one above) with the thought to write about it, and here we are.

As I was driving home I couldn’t help but continue thinking about Trench Coat. He drove a fairly simple vehicle, like I do, a silver Honda Pilot. Which actually goes with the way he carried himself. If you look in the picture at the top of this post you’ll see that he walked with his head held high and off to one side. His shoulders slung back, and his arms hanging at his sides like an ape or cave man. A practical man. A Honda Pilot was the right amount of bells and whistles without spending too much, which would make him uncomfortable.

So he was probably a normal guy. Probably worked behind a desk all day like I do. He was older than I am though, maybe late 30’s, early 40’s. Where  is his home? Was it a big house? Town-home? Apartment? Probably a moderately sized single family home. He probably has a garage.

I wouldn’t learn any of the answers to my questions. He pulled out of his space pretty quickly and exited the garage before I could continue my trail, but I still wonder: why was he wearing a trench coat?

2 thoughts on “Following the Man in the Trench Coat

  1. My theory: I think he’s a normal, everyday guy who is unhappy with that. He goes to work every day with a slew of other people being herded in and out of the capitol. Working 9-5 like everybody else. Doing a job he knows a million other people could do. He doesn’t like it; the usual, the ordinary. He wears the trench coat as a way to stand out amongst the herd. As a way to feel like he’s not actually a part of; it somehow makes him not one of “them”.


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