Off-guard

So, the coffee shop where I work is in the Medford Center.  Which is adjacent to Hawthorne Park.  The Medford Center can be a little bit sketchy at times.  We’ve had broken windows, verbal assault, and transients passing through asking for change and cigarettes.

Perhaps I shouldn’t post this online, but nearly everyone at my work is a female.  And we mostly work alone.  Being a small girl and walking to my car alone at night can sometimes be a little nerve-racking.  (In all fairness and accuracy, there is always a security guard who is more than willing to walk us to our car.  But I like to think of myself as fearless.)

Well, last night was a particularly empty night at the Medford Center.  Particularly dark, too.  No cars scrambling for the closest parking spot.  No movie-goers hurrying to the next showing.   Just calm and quiet and dark.

As I rounded the corner that led to the parking lot, I could make out two male figures approaching me.  I started to get a little nervous.  I recognized one of the men.  I sometimes see him wading knee-deep in the decorative pond in front of Tinsletown – fishing for beer money.  He’s always drunk and sometimes his buttcrack shows.  So when I realize that it’s him, I get way more nervous.  I look around, but there was no one to come to my rescue if this guy were to try anything.  “Okay,” I thought, “Remember what mom taught us: If you carry yourself like a victim, you might end up as one.  Just keep your head up, look confident, look him straight in the eye.”

So I did.

He smiled and said,                                                                                                                  “God bless you.”

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