Friday, September 08, 2006

Why you should give stuff to the homeless people


circular-skin
Originally uploaded by Pancakes.
So I'm leaving Cafe Coco last night when I catch a glimpse of a guy who's always there and seems interesting.. but whom I've never actually talked to for more then a second. I keep walking, kind of depressed from all the boredom. Suddenly, I glance back towards the Cafe when I see the guy following me. "Hey," he says, and waves. I stop, only semi-disturbed. He's cute... with long dirty blonde hair, a chiseled face, and a small body. He's wearing all black and smoking a cigarette. As he approaches, he asks my name, then shakes my hand and gives me his name in return. His movements are a little shaky, and there's something odd about him overall. Like copious amounts of drug use have left him a little... off. He pursues a conversation, telling me how shy he is and how much he sucks at meeting people. Somewhere along the line, a homeless man approaches. He's dark, wearing a deep red polo shirt, and his skin looks a tad mangled in a way. He asks my new friend, we'll call him Jay, for a cigarette, who acts as if the one he's smoking at the time is his last. "Sorry, man," he says in a cool voice, "This is my last. You can have it if you want." The man begs, offering him 50 cents for a fresh smoke, but only gets the half-smoked one. As the man walks away, Jay smirks at me and pulls out a full pack to light up again. Our conversation turns toward music, and he asks if I've heard the more recent Rammstein. I haven't, so he offers to play it for me since he has the music in his car. I hesitate at first, unsure of him, but when he point out his car, which is just across the street, I figure what the hell. I tell him to wait just a moment as I walk to my car and lock my purse in the car. Then I go over to his car. I don't get in even though he offers me a seat... I opt to stand on the outside as he begins to search the CD for his favorite songs. Before long, a movement behind us catches my eye, and I see the same homeless man walking towards us. I get a bad feeling, but don't move, unable to react. Just as I suspect, he walks up to us. "You see this?" he says, holding a small black handgun out for us to see. I gasp, freezing in my spot as Jay lets out a "woah!" and starts stepping away. The man stops him, and holds the gun to his back. "You want to get shot tonight?" he asks. I don't have the slightest idea what to do... and merely stare wide-eyed at the gun as he threatens us with it. This has never happened to me before. He waves the gun in my direction for a moment, saying I need to give him my purse. I don't have it. I don't know if Jay has anything on him, but he manages to start walking away with his hands up, expecting me to follow. I stay where I am as the man looks at me. I put my hands up, showing him the car keys in my hand, "I don't... I don't have a purse... I don't have anything on me," I say fearfully. He looks me up and down as Jay starts yelling.. "Baby!" he calls me, "Annie, come on.. just walk away!!" The man glances at him, pointing the gun in his direction. All I can think is that even though I don't know this guy I just met, I don't want to see him shot or killed.. and I'm afraid that if I follow the man will just shoot us both from behind. Somehow the man changes his mind, and with a quick glance into Jay's car.. he jogs away and around the corner.
At this point I'm in a state of total disbelief. All the what-if's start flowing through my head. What if I hadn't put my purse in my car? What if he had shot Jay.. what would I have done? What if I had been killed just then? Jay comes to my side asking if I'm okay, apoligizing profusely. We're walking swiftly down the sidewalk as I begin to freak out. "OH MY GOD. Oh, my.. that has NEVER happened to me before!" I say, looking over at Jay but not really seeing anything but a blur as my adrenaline peaks. We stop as he continues to talk, saying it has happened to him, and the best thing to do is walk away. "I'm so sorry," he says, "I didn't know that would happen." I laugh, "No, it's okay... I know." Our speech is hurried, and we're passing nervous laughter back and forth.
Before long he's talking about finding a cop at the cafe... since they lurk around now and then, and he runs off. At this point I can't make any decisions. All I know is that I need to leave before a cop comes into the picture. I don't particularly feel like getting shit for being out past curfew.
So after a few more surprising happenings, Jay calls the police and I tell him I have to leave. "Oh, that's cool," he says, "If you don't want your name on the report, that's cool, you can go. Hopefully I'll see you around here again soon." So I leave, driving slower then I ever have before... still wide-eyed and feeling the shock. After about 15 minutes I burst into tears for a second, then start thinking of who the hell would be up that I could call and tell. MY GOD I HAVE TO TELL SOMEONE, I kept thinking. I couldn't think of who to call, so I kept it in as I drove home, and kept it in as a slipped into bed, suddenly fully appreciative of the safety of home.

So.... woah.

~A

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