The last part of the story is about the switchblade...
I was again running through a town in California, praying and trying to keep a good attitude. That morning I and another person were dropped off at a truck stop and told to go through that little city and in the evening take bus to the next town over, where we can meet with the rest of the team. It was the first time that I had to spend the whole day somewhere in an unfamiliar place. The cell phones were not invented yet, so it would be hard to get in touch with anyone I know, in case if anything happened.
It was alright! People were friendly, I had no trouble. At about four in the afternoon, I found myself in the part of the city where there were just a few businesses on the road. I walked for half a mile seeing only the tall shady trees, when, in an empty lot, I saw a trailer. I didn't usually go to trailers. people who live in them rarely buy anything. But there was nothing else there!
An old man (he seemed old to my twenty five years old self. For all I know, he could have been in his forties) invited me in. I didn't particularly like the look of him, but, for some reason, I decided to go in. The man didn't want to buy anything. I already said good bye to him, when he told me that he wanted to give me a present and brought out a small rectangular box. On it was a picture of a switchblade knife! The hair on the back of my head rose up, and I began to creep towards the door. He took out the knife. My eyes were bulging out so much from the fright that I felt the lashes touch my eyebrows. In the moment that he pushed a button to release blade, I think I lost ten years of my life. A comb popped out! It was a comb! I would've been amused, if the look on his face didn't tell me that he enjoyed my fear a little too much. Nevertheless, with the boxed toy in my pocket, I continued the search for some paying customers. Two minutes later there it was: a bar! People there were a rough bunch (bikers, I think), but they loved interacting with me and my product. They bought a lot! My theory is that, when we overcome a personal difficulty or go through a situation that elicits strong emotions in us, the energy around us changes. Whether it's our ancestors or just that charge that surrounds us, we then are able to break through in whatever we are trying to achieve.
By the way, when I showed my team leader the knife and scared the heck out of him, he gave me a scolding and took the knife away. Later I saw him demonstrate the trick to his superior, also get scolded and lose the toy to him. I wonder, how high up that thing went?