One lovely, sunny Monday a couple of weeks ago, I decide to go on an adventure. Armed with a not-full bottle of water, my phone, and some earbuds, I walk to the trails near our house, and follow their descent into the woods. It was a lovely time, complete with light, spider webs, ferns, tall trees, streams, and signs posted next to the streams. (If you follow me on Instagram, you know!) I follow the trail until it ends, and walk a short distance to the waterfront.
I sit on a rock, facing the water for about 30 minutes, watching the boats, and one parasail floating through the sky (and listening to a podcast I had started on the trail, about veganism v Paleo). After the podcast ends, I decide to walk down the sidewalk and see what I can glean from Pokemon Go. I walk for 20 minutes, getting some goodies from Pokestops, and catching a few wild Pokemon, stopping by the fisherman’s dock to gaze at the water again. Then I make my way back to my rock.
On the way back, as I walk past one of the waterfront restaurants, minding my own business (okay, trying to catch a Magicarp), an older man with a weathered face, sauntering in the opposite direction, starts to pass me, as he puts a cigarette in his mouth. He says, “Hey, ma’am, how ya doin’”
Now, at this point I must clarify something. I used to spend a lot of time walking the streets when I used the transit system. People would approach me, and most often it was because they needed money, or something else that costs money. As this man approached me, I put my automatic street defense on.
I stopped as he stopped, very briefly, to face each other, and I said, “what’s up, I don’t have any money.” I didn’t expect the explosion that came next.
“I whaddn’t gon’ ask you for no GODDAMN F*CKING money!” He spits, and repeats himself. I say, “okay, then…” and walk away, a bit shaken, as he repeats himself, again, to nobody in particular
I hurry back toward the trail, and begin the ascent, carrying a rapid pace (leftover adrenaline, I suppose). I feel kind of bad for assuming that guy wanted money. Then I figure his reaction wasn’t my fault, so I shouldn’t feel bad, but I can’t help it.
About halfway back up the trail, as if to balance the interactions on my adventure, I encounter a boy and his mom enjoying a leisurely walk down the trail. The boy, probably about 7 years ago, approaches me and asks, “how was the hike?” I say, “it was very nice, thank you.” As I pass the mother, she gives me a half-apologetic smile.
The excitement ends there, I’m afraid. I arrive at home after a while, and sit in a chair on the back porch, drinking kombucha and attempting a NYT crossword puzzle, as one does after a short adventure.