Now I am not suggesting that anyone go out and trust the world without question but, ever so often, something weird happens and it makes you wonder about things. Back in the day I lived over near The Red Dog Saloon on 10th street and there were plenty of shootings and robberies that went on down there and everyone knew it. The heli were out every weekend searching for escaped felons and drug dealers…sick bird men and women and belligerent drunks. Not the kind of place you’d ever even wanna pick up a pre teen with dropped pants on the week end…
…even the kids ’round there people said they packed. Maybe it was fear because that street was the bumper hood between the haves and the have-nots but anyway there was a Friday night at, like, one am in the cold early spring one day and it was raining cats and dogs!
I was driving back home from seeing my soon-to-be ex husband at that time from the neighbouring town and there was a kid walking up the side of the flooded water-logged road. He didn’t have any protection not even a torn open garbage bag! Kid looked pretty miserable and, against my better judgement, I pulled over and asked him if he needed a ride.
It was a really weird moment for us both. Here I was; some blond white lady who just got a degree from college driving a grey Honda who pulled over and asked 14 year old dropped pants black gangsta kid If he needed a lift…
He did it turns out.
He didn’t look at me as he got in the passenger side and it suddenly occurred to me that the kid was scared…
Shouldn’t it have been the other way around? This was most odd!
“Where’ you goin’?”
“‘Bout five-six blocks up…”
He was staring at the floor board of the passenger side with single minded determination!
I kept driving and he moved his head and I noticed he had looked at my purse, which was sitting on the area just behind the gear shift between the seats and then, from the corner of his eye he looked at me in surprise when I smiled at him and kept driving. Then he looked at the floor board again. We drove the rest of the way in a weird tense silence in the oddest reversal of roles I ever experienced.
“Here…” He said in a whisper as we turned into one of the most notorious of the properties on 10th Street. I pulled in and a huge crack of thunder boomed and lightning struck in the sheeting rain as I stopped in the main lot of the apartments he asked me to take him to…as he got out it was clear the kid had a gun. He could have easily nabbed my purse and run but, somehow, he was suddenly as vunerable looking as any kid I ever saw anywhere and, I was almost worried about him as he sauntered out into the dark rain and disappeared into the buildings.
Now I am not saying everyone should trust everyone. My dad was once maced by a white gal, who tried to kife his wallet, who was was hitchin’ on I-40 but you never can tell about people…
…no you never can tell.