City living is great. I love 99% of it. What I DON'T love is the crazies that seem to gravitate towards me when I'm minding my own business, walking around downtown. I intend to prove here that I am, for reasons unknown to me, frequently the target of loud, ranting, cracked out rages. And I do NOT handle it well. I typically live by the motto “Live and let live”. But these unpredictable, obviously either over- or under-medicated people find ME, and hone in on me. I never know what to do or say, or how to act. What would YOU do in these situations??
Case #1: I was downtown waiting for my bus to go home from work, listening to my iPod. Three very homeless, very drunk, very loud people came and stood about 3 feet away from me. The 2 men were openly discussing the prostitution habits of the 1 woman (whose name I caught to be Mary). Then they all decided to go find some drugs, and the woman suggested using her “talents” to score. After deciding her skills were sorely lacking, the men wondered aloud, “Couldn’t we just steal a purse?” I clutched my Kate Spade tighter than I ever have in my entire life. My blood pressure nearly killed me when Mary came over to me, got right in my face, and spewed “Hey! HEY!” I took an earbud out of my ear. “Yes?” “What time does that [expletive deleted] #10 bus get here?” Me: “I don't know, sorry.” She snarled her toothless grin at me and spit out: “Bitch”.
Rude! But here comes the Crazy. The woman then went back with the men. Man #1 says, “Mary. Mary. You got some poo poo on your jacket.” Mary’s all “It ain’t poo! It’s…chocolate!” Man #2: You ain’t got no chocolate! It’s poo!” Mary’s all “IT AIN’T POO!” So, Man #1 takes a step towards Mary and says “Let me taste it.” HE PROCEEDS TO LICK THE MYSTERIOUS BROWN SMUDGE ON MARY’S JACKET. After a second, Man #1 smacks his lips and says, “Well, it’s definitely poo, but it ain’t yours.”
Oh. My. Gah.
Case #2: About a week ago, I again was waiting for my bus. A quiet, average-looking, albeit very smelly, couple was sitting on the curb next to me, passing what I assumed to be a crack pipe (Thanks, Intervention!) back and forth. I got a little nervous, and started to ease my way to another bus stop when the woman started screaming at me. “DON’T WALK AWAY FROM ME! I WANT MY [expletive deleted] MONEY AND MY KID BACK! DON’T MAKE ME CUT YOU!” And then she yelled like this for about 45 seconds. I froze. I had no idea what to do. I casually slowed down and peeked back over my shoulder at her. Turns out, she was yelling at a guy on a bike about a block away who, I’m assuming, she did not know. But the blood didn’t stop rushing to my head. What if she had a gun? What if she started to think I was the one with her baby/money? At that point, I was too freaked out to walk to another bus stop for fear I’d draw attention to myself and get “cut”. I just stood there, feet made out of cement, staring straight ahead and listening to the couple threaten everyone from the biker, to the stop sign, to the cabbie that passed by. I’ve never been angrier at my bus for being 1 minute late.
Final Case: Which brings me to this morning. I got off the bus, (SERIOUSLY! I need to find a new bus stop!) and started to walk to work. I noticed a very unstable man who I’ve seen before, and he was yelling at the top of his lungs about the racist people who "took his spot on the last NASA flight". I tried to cross to the other side of the street to avoid him, but he kind of jogged up behind me. I had my iPod on, of course, and pretended not to hear him when he screamed at me, “HEY GREY JACKET! GIMME A DOLLAR! I’LL TRADE YOU FOR $0.50!” Now, I’m no financial analyst, but it sounded like a pretty bunk deal to me. So, I kept walking. I heard him stop running and he yelled, “NEXT TIME, THEY TAKIN' ME UP IN THAT FANCY SPACESHIP AND YOU’LL BE SORRY!” I don’t even know what that means, but I’m worried for Buzz Aldrin.
Does anyone else have these run-ins in their neighborhood? What are people supposed to do? I feel like a bad person for being so, I don’t know, suspicious. I have GOT to stop watching Intervention and Drug Wars because I’m starting to suspect everyone has a gun and nothin’ to lose. And maybe I need to start driving to work. To hell with public transportation! If I get stabbed by a woman with poo on her jacket, I highly doubt anyone will say “Well, thank God she didn’t leave a giant carbon footprint!”