Saturday, August 12, 2006

Does goose flesh count? Yikes!

Ok, ok, so it's not a paranoia-inducing chicken around my waist, but it's real.


I live in a bad neighboorhood in Boston, a *really* bad neighboorhood. I've been here for a while though. I've learned that with a certain purposful set to your jaw, and a casual (yet ever-viligent) walk, the more unsavory inhabitants of this neighboorhood will "give you a pass." It's the, "hey, you mean me no harm, I'll just let you chill" style of gang infestation.

So, I was walking to work this morning, Just walking, walking, walking. Well, actually, walking and kicking stones along the way. I find that it displaces the anger/confusion about my current(seriously poor) lot I am in right now. Walk, kick, walk, kick. It is the rhythm of the working poor here in Boston.

hmmmm....maybe more about the working poor in another blog. Maybe not!

When I walk, I write in my head. Constantly writing, editing, re-writing as I walk and kick. 99% of the stuff I think I'm going to write never sees the light of day, and that's probably a good thing. But as I walk, I don't really hear what is going on around me, it's just me and my verbal narcissism, hangin out, having a latte. Some people would call that a kind of internal graphomania.

I should listen more.

Today, I became aware of someone speaking Spanish very loudly behind me. Not unusual at all here, so my "internal ignore mode" was still on. They were walking rapidly in my direction, and they were gaining ground. I turned to see 2 Hispanic youths, and oddly (to me, anyway), a rather elderly Hispanic woman. As I continued to turn, the woman took up the gauntlet. Yelling at me, really yelling at me. She was pointing at my messenger bag, slung across my chest. She then grabbed the strap, and was trying to get my bag over my head!

Now, keep in mind, I know about 0.0000000005% Spanish. I could not begin to surmise what the problem was? Some sort of cell phone emergency, an accident?( at this point, I was still in firm denial that something really negative was going to happen to me). I mustered up the only phrase I knew: "No comprendre Espanol, por favor?" She kept pulling at my strap for about 10 seconds (it seemed MUCH LONGER to me).

Now, when you're 5'9" and your mugger-in-the-making/random crazy person is well, not, physics rapidly becomes your closest friend. I just kind of leaned into/over her, released the strap from her grip, and ran. All the way to my job. Non-stop. Seriously.

Other than just a pure mugging(attempt), I don't really know what this was? Strange, indeed. Mistaken identity? Random weird-ass harrassment? Bleh. Since I really AM poor, mugging me is an exercise in pointlessness in the extreme. I have no money, no credit cards, no fancy jewelry, so it's a real losing proposition.

But, I'm ok, gang. More of a negative mental swarm than a physical one. I went to work, did my little marketing dog and pony act, and walked back home again. (Ok, it was more of a speed-walk, psuedo-jogging sort of thing). But I made it home. Rattled, frazzled, but fine.

If I was a drinking woman, I would have invited a bottle of Gray Goose to make a nest in my brain. But, that's just not how I "roll" (choking on the slang). I need all the brain cells I can get!

I think the time has come for me to get a car! Or a Vespa at least, my droogies.