Oozing in These Foolish Things

  • June 6, 2020, 5:14 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

Something must be oozing out of my pores. Seriously. It’s like there is something about me that says, “I’m a target, please fuck with me” to the general public. I swear I’m not being paranoid, but I am scared.

Many of the places of business where I live downtown are having murals painted on the plywood that they’ve used to board up their broken windows when the looters did their thing last weekend. They are beautiful works of art and signs of hope and hopefully, unity. One of my neighbors has a business and she’s boarded it up and is painting a mural and she’d posted about it on Instagram and then showed several more murals in the nearby vicinity in her stories.

I wanted to go down myself to take a look. These murals are within three blocks of my apartment, and I decided to go check out the scene before I head over to Best Bud’s for a small birthday gathering. I don’t have the dog with me - I took her to her daycare for the night so I could to the birthday party without worrying about the dog and her cat having a war.

Yes, I was alone, but there are so many people out and it’s a cheerful and hopeful situation - everyone is working hand in hand - all races all ages. It seems like a wonderful thing, right?

So I got about four blocks away and there were some photographers taking photos. One guy even asked me if I would be in one of his shots and I was like, SURE! But after he took my photo, another guy came up to me and was quietly asking me what I was doing and I told him I was taking photos of the murals.

He then told me that he had some paintings around the corner and asked me to walk with him to see his paintings. It wasn’t sitting well with me and I said, no I have to get back to my place as I have some friends waiting for me. He was not taking no for an answer, and he was like…just come with me for a minute! And I said no again, and he was like, WHY NOT! Just for a minute!! He stuck right next to me, tried to shake my hand and I said I couldn’t because of Covid.

Y’all. He was NOT RIGHT. He started asking about my toenails and what color they were painted and to come walk with him, walk with him to see his paintings. He was urgent. URGENT. “Just for a minute,” he kept telling me. He had crazy in his eyes. He was a predator. I could smell it. Could he smell “prey” on me?

Luckily I was close to a corner market so I walked in and walked over to a barista - a guy I’ve seen several times before but don’t know his name. Meanwhile, the stranger started to get agitated, telling me to CALM DOWN - he only wanted me to walk with him for just a minute. He was standing SO CLOSE TO ME, nearly touching me and I was mouthing, H-E-L-P!! M-E!!! to the guy behind the register. My eyes were pleading. The guy behind the register got a BIG dude’s attention and they both started asking me a couple of questions - could they help me…was this guy bothering me? I was too scared to answer because the dude started getting more and more agitated. I could feel his agitation. He kept telling me to calm down. I was freaking inside. He was wearing a backpack and I felt like something terrible was about to happen.

I promise, promise I wasn’t being a Karen or an Amy Cooper. I thought about that. I thought how easily this situation could escalate into something that might have looked like I was Amy Coopering this guy. I swear to you it wasn’t that. And I swear to you that I was trying so hard to think of a way to quietly de-escalate the situation and get the fuck out of the situation. I was getting desperate, though.

LUCKILY.

The big guy started to come around from behind the counter, so my artist “friend” finally got the message and turned around and walked very quickly out of the store. Big guy walked out the door to see which way he went. He said he went a certain direction, but couldn’t see him anymore.

I felt better, but there was NO WAY I was going to walk home by myself, so I asked him if he’d walk me home. He hesitated and told me that he’d have to ask his manager and told me to hold on. My stomach was in knots. The manager finally came out and told me that security could probably walk me home, but “she is in the bathroom”. I then just said, “can he please walk me home?” in reference to the big guy. The manager finally broke and said, sure.

Big Dude walked me home (thankfully), but FUCK, you guys. I am now 100% more terrified to walk in my own neighborhood. He told me that the whole area has been tense even before the protests, riots and looting. He said the store has dealt with a lot of theft before all of this.

After my mugging, the riots and now the seedy people who are hanging out and blending into peaceful protests and community events, pretending to be do-gooders… I can’t walk anywhere. My apartment feels like a hideout now. And I have to drive somewhere away from it in order to feel safe. I can’t walk alone. I am oozing fear.

I’m going to go for now. I’m headed to Best Bud’s for the night and I’ll check in tomorrow to let you know the sitch. I don’t know what to do about this.

Yours fearfully,
GS


Last updated June 06, 2020


pandora June 06, 2020

I’m so sorry this happened to you, especially after the mugging! I would be high anxiety too. Stay safe; I hope things calm down and you don’t have to remain fearful.

Ginger Snap pandora ⋅ June 08, 2020

Thanks. I don't know that things will calm down quickly, but I'm working on a change...

Nash June 06, 2020

I can tell you from my job that the lunatic factor is off the charts right now. People will do and say things they would normally never consider because we live in an increasingly desperate society. No way you are a Karen, and you were right to ask for a walk home.

Ginger Snap Nash ⋅ June 08, 2020

You're right! I feel like there's been a turning point. I had a feeling this might happen - months ago I told my parents if it got super weird that I was going to come stay with them. And I did stay several days last week only to come back to this. Clearly, I'm being pushed to make a change. I don't know that a change would be so bad. I could make all of this part of my plan.

kansasgirl June 06, 2020

I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this. I hope your community gets back to the way it was soon.

Ginger Snap kansasgirl ⋅ June 08, 2020

I think that change is here. I don't think it will ever get back to the way it was.

permanent daylight June 06, 2020

Gosh, I'm so sorry. We have felt for a long time like the downtown area in our city is going downhill and I can't wait to get out. It will be nice to be in an area where I don't really have to worry about me or my better half running into creeps like this.

Ginger Snap permanent daylight ⋅ June 08, 2020

Yeah. I know that's what comes along with living in urban areas. I've lived downtown for 15+ years and I love downtown life except for this. I've had many, many encounters with somewhat hostile downtown dwellers, homeless, etc. but it's never been THIS bad! Something has changed and it's just bothering me so much and it's making me very, very sad and anxious.

Meeks June 06, 2020

Move

Ginger Snap Meeks ⋅ June 08, 2020

I'm highly considering this. Working on options.

Complicated Disaster June 07, 2020

Holy shit. You really are having some bad luck :-( xx

Ginger Snap Complicated Disaster ⋅ June 08, 2020

A crapton of bad luck. At least this is getting me to think and take action.

Marg June 07, 2020

OMG that’s horrible! No way were you a Karen at all - I’m just glad you’re safe and that guy was able to walk you home. No wonder you’re terrified :(

Ginger Snap Marg ⋅ June 08, 2020

Thank you. I'm working on this!!

Elaine Benes June 07, 2020

Omg! So scary! Holy crap.

Ginger Snap Elaine Benes ⋅ June 08, 2020

So, so scary!

Athena June 07, 2020

This is really upsetting. I'm so sorry this is happening.

Ginger Snap Athena ⋅ June 08, 2020

Very upsetting. I'm sorry it's happening too!

bobbi01 June 07, 2020

How frightening, you handled it very smartly.

Ginger Snap bobbi01 ⋅ June 08, 2020

Thanks for saying that. I didn't know how else to do it.

plushcreep June 09, 2020

Holy crap. You have had a run of craziness lately. My heart was racing just reading this...I can only imagine how frightened you were!

I may have a minor "thing" for feet (ahem), but would never dream of asking a stranger about her toenails. At least not out loud, ha. Glad the coffee shop was able to help you out of a tense situation.

kashka June 11, 2020

Wow. That's all very scary. I hope that's the last of it!

Jinn July 01, 2020

No more talking to strangers. I would be buying a taser .

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