“Wilson” was a little paranoid. We spent a fair amount of time together, frequently wandering trails (and off-trail) on foot in the nearby wilderness area. I knew he didn’t trust easily. I was to discover that what trust he did have was shakey and easily upset.
There was this guy he sometimes spoke to in town. I had seen the guy around, wearing old camo clothing and a backpack– I suspect he may have been homeless– but I never met him. Which is odd because he claimed to know me and he caused Wilson to lose his trust in me. Which could have ended badly.
I stopped by Wilson’s house one afternoon and he approached my car with an odd demeanor. I noticed his hand was on his pistol. I didn’t get out of my car, but asked what was up. He told me this guy, who I didn’t know and had never spoken to, had warned him I was a police informant. Supposedly I was spying on Wilson’s activities and reporting to the cops. He was telling me all this using colorful language.
I got very uncomfortable very quickly. I honestly expected to be shot at any moment– and my young daughter was in the car with me.
(A few years later I got the same sort of feeling when a different friend told me he “knew” I was a Martian who was controlling his mind, but that’s another story. I’d rather be a Martian than work with the cops.)
Wilson loved to buy ammo but hated using it. I’ve never seen anyone so stingy with ammunition. Maybe that worked in my favor that day.
I told him I wasn’t a police informant, and would never do that. Not to anyone. I told him emphatically that I had never worked with, or helped, the police in any way. Never had and never would. He knew how I felt about cops, or at least I thought he did. He questioned me for a few minutes, and I guess he was satisfied enough with my answers. I left on somewhat calmer terms. But it was a few weeks before we were back to normal.
For a long time I wondered what the guy had actually said to Wilson about me. What he had against me, and how he was even aware of me. Had Wilson mentioned me and the guy just decided to accuse me? Did he have me confused with someone else? That seems unlikely because I was sort of “unique” in town, but it was a town of misfits and maybe he mixed me up with someone else. Or, was that guy an informant who didn’t like me speaking to Wilson and keeping him less volatile? At this point, I’ll never know.
Eventually the incident passed and was never mentioned again. Once I regained his trust I never seemed to lose it again.