Sunday, June 17, 2007

my chat with ack

I have meant for at least a week to post this conversation. The incident happened at a local grocery store, in the parking lot. I had just purchased the evening's beer and cigarettes and was walking to my car. I had seen the woman I was about to meet as I was chatting with the guy that's worked at that same store since I've been going there, happened to look out into the parking lot, and she wandered past through the middle.

I had a bad feeling as soon as I saw the woman. This grocery store can be interesting and is nicknamed locally after Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. Considering the lateness of the hour, knowing the locality, I walked a little slowly out the door, sighing with relief at seeing this woman well enough away from the car as to give me hope that I could reach the car unaccosted.

Such was not to be the case. I hadn't gotten very far before she doubled back, meeting me mere feet from the relative safety of my automobile.

She: Can you give me a ride?

Me: (cringing inside, rolling my eyes, not willing to not help but knowing this can't end well) Where do you need to go?

She: Just down the street.

Me: Down the street where?

She: Just to the end of the street?

Me: (a bit incredulous) The end of the street?

Now, understand that I am now incredulous because she is indicating Broadway, a street that becomes any number of streets and is also a US Route that's over 900 miles long, much like the Broadway in any number of towns. She's obviously not quite sure what she's talking about, and I'm not willing at this point to get involved in whatever is happening. I can tell this isn't going to end well, and I'm surprised it was a ride and not money.

Me: I'm sorry, but I can't help you.

She: (suddenly growing "frantic") But they'll kill me!

Me: What? Someone's going to kill you? I have my phone right here. I'll call the police.

At this point I reach into my pocket for my phone. I know I'm not going to be calling the police, and she confirms this for me. She's not the least bit frantic or worried or upset. She still hasn't asked for money the entire time, and I can well imagine that she's just looking for a lift. I can also tell this isn't any scenario that's going to play out with me as a cast member.

She: Oooohhh nnnnooooo! You can't call the police. They're going to kill me.

Me: Ma'am, who's going to kill you? Let me call the police, because I really can't help you. I can call the police though, and if someone is trying to kill you . . ."

She: You can't, I just need a ride or they'll kill me.

It was about this point that the nice young gentleman who has worked there for ages walks up. He asks if there is a problem at which point the woman's attention is drawn to him for a moment. I take this opportunity to open the car and put my things in. I sit down, turned toward the action as store employee and the woman are out of my hearing for a moment. I'm still willing to call the police, and I inform this woman again. She refuses the help, admonishes us that it will all be on our shoulders when she gets hurt and stumbles off toward the fast food place.

I never found out what her real deal was. Maybe she did just want a lift somewhere. Maybe she wasn't going to offer to suck me off at a reasonable rate. Maybe she wasn't high as shit on the kinds of drugs I don't do. Maybe someone was really going to kill her if she didn't get a ride.

1 comment:

Rosie said...

There are so many strange people in the world. But I sort of love going to places like your grocery store. I really sort of like meeting people like that woman...even though I know I can't help one can, really. And it always makes me uncomfortable when I meet them, but somehow, I just can't help myself.