van nasty

Saturday, April 26, 2008

sometimes the voices in your head help you

dear blog:

allow me to fill you in on my life: i still work seven days a week, and i still work my shitty part-time job (which was only supposed to last, at most, a year, not say, FIVE!). after many months of completely ignoring you, you would think i would ease into this; shower you with attention and soothing words about how i havent forgotten you, or about how i think about you, even when i dont have the time visit you, but, like an atheist praying to a god she doesnt believe in during a time of crisis, that isnt the case. we arent easing in with cute stories and drunken anecdotes, we're leaping in head first with an after-school style psa.

i will admit that i often make ill-advised decisions when it comes to my own personal safety. i will brazenly walk through neighborhoods i know to be unsafe, alone and late at night (by which i mean walking from petworth to adams morgan, alone, tipsy and at 1 a.m.); i could give a variety of reasons from feminist proclamations of "take-back the night" to the more common, "im-invincible-and-bad-things-only-happen-to-other-people," but, the real reason is far less brave or interesting. im cheap dammit and i dont want to give taxis my $15, thank you very much.

but the truth is, bad things can happen to anyone at anytime, including while youre working at your shitty part-time job on a saturday evening at 7:00 p.m.

tonight a man came into the building, and asked to use the bathroom while he waited for a resident. he asked if the bathroom was locked, and if i could show him where it was. i responded with a "yes" not because the bathroom is locked, but, because its unmarked and hard to describe to someone unfamiliar with the building. after escorting him downstairs, he asked me to wait because he would only be a moment. there are two doors to the bathroom; an interior door that leads to the toilet, and an exterior door from the hallway. he opened the exterior door then stepped out and asked if i could come in because the interior door was locked. automatically, i took a step toward the bathroom (i was standing a good 6-8 feet away from him at the time), but, as i began to process what he was saying, and the generally odd experience i was having with him, i instead listened to the small but nagging voice in my head that was telling me something wasnt right. i told him if the door was locked, i couldnt help him, and that he would need to leave. we both then got on to the elevator, where luckily a resident was also going to the lobby. the man then walked out of the building and off the property making it clear he hadnt been waiting for a resident at all.

after a few minutes, i went back downstairs to the bathroom and opened the exterior door; the door to the bathroom was not only unlocked, it was propped wide-open. having stepped into the bathroom, he would have known this already. i dont know what his intentions were, nor do i think that my asking him to leave would have prevented him for hurting me if that was his intention; but, i do know lying to me to try and get me to enter that room with him. it might make me sound dramatic or paranoid to think this person intended to hurt me, but, bad things can and do happen, and i'd rather be overly-cautious than not cautious enough (and if he really just needed a bathroom, there is one in the mcdonalds and chipotle across the street).

better safe than sorry,

v/n

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2 Comments:

Blogger Annette said...

OH MY GOD!!!! that is super creepy. good for you for listening to your instincts. we'll have to enroll in a self-defense class asap!

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Kristen M. said...

Wow! Finally catching up with your blog...This story definitely would have had a different ending if you hadn't thought quickly! My heart is still beating fast from reading!So glad it ended well--and thanks for sharing. Stories like these put my guard back up where it should be...

3:29 PM  

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