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.”