On Wednesday night my wife wasn’t feeling well. She asked me to stop by the 7-11 up the the street from us for some comfort food on the way home from work. On my way out of the store I was…I don’t want to say accosted, but…we’ll say I was approached by a woman. As I’m starting my car and getting ready to drive off, I see her running up beside my window, where she stops, wringing her hands and motioning for me to roll down the window.
She tells me her car broke down and she needs a ride to the general area of the Pat’s Pizza. Mind you, I’m nowhere near Pat’s and neither is she. I’m several miles from there and it’s 10:15 at night with me going home to comfort a sick wife. Plus, for some reason the chick gives me a bad vibe. Anyway, I told her I couldn’t help her. I’m still not sure if this was bad for my karma or a life saving decision. I’m not a big fan of picking up hitchhikers, though I have done it on a few occasions. In any case, her next words made me feel justified in my decision.
As I’m pulling out of the space, she tries to plead with me, saying “please! C’mon, this is like, the worst area!” She looks genuinely wigged out. I look around. There’s a few black girls hanging out by a van, three or four guys hanging outside the store, this crowd’s nothing more than the usual rabble. Nobody’s causing trouble, but when you’re broke, what else is there but to hang around and bullshit with your people? Talking and hanging out on the corner is free. My friends and I did it all the time when we were younger, wandering around, hanging out with nothing to do.
I look around me; everyone is black. That’s why this is “like, the worst area.”
Lady, the state troopers pull through here every five minutes, you’ll be fine. As I’m driving away, I see her run up on another car, pleading with the only other white person in the lot for a ride. She doesn’t even make eye contact with anyone darker than a sheet of notebook paper. As I drive off, one of the black girls by the van shouts “you better watch out for her white boy!” Watch out indeed. I don’t stop for bigots, nor for paranoiacs.