schadenfreude: (Thoughtful)


February 16, 2017 - Stranger Danger

So, I don't frighten easy. Most of the time, I am present -- aware of my surroundings, and try not to get lost in my thoughts. I'm not always successful, but I do better than average. Also, I'm not a paranoid person, always on the look out for threats or danger. After the experience I just had, less than fifteen minutes ago, perhaps I should be...

After I picked up the grandkids at school, we drove to the convenience store for treats for them and cigarettes for me. It was really busy and we had to park in the back. We paid for our items, started walking to the car and as we rounded the corner, there were two men standing there. One spoke to me, something to the effect, "Hey, there's someone who knows me." and both of them began walking toward us.

I used the remote to unlock the doors and told the kids to run and get in the car, then turned to face them. The second man said, "Do you have a cigarette to give me?"

It's not like I could lie because there were two brand new packs in my hand. I put one in my pocket, opened the other, handed him a cigarette, then started walking backward to the car. They just kept advancing, the first one asking me question after question, without waiting for an answer. Just stupid stuff like, "Oh, do you like zombies? Did you watch the new show? Was it any good?"

Finally, I made it to the car, hopped inside, then locked the doors and windows while cranking the ignition. I thought I might run over their feet because they didn't move when I drove away.

Aside from following me to the car, they did nothing that could be considered threatening, it was broad daylight, people everywhere, but I was scared spitless! My lips were actually sticking to my teeth!

So, that's my excitement for the day and my heart has finally returned to a somewhat normal rate. Good times, man. Good times.

schadenfreude: (Cool Breeze)


February 5, 2017 - The Stranger have you ever had a random encounter or fleeting moment with a stranger that stuck with you?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I had one this past summer that still makes me laugh every time I remember it.

The healthcare system I work for is smoke-free, all of their buildings and clinics in five states. This means that when I need a fix, I have to walk off property. On the day in question, I had walked to the Social Security office, which is in the same complex, has the same parking lot, etc, but is "off property" as far as my employer is concerned. There is an area a few paces from the door where people are allowed to smoke, equipped with an ashtray and an overhang in case of weather.

I watched a young man, perhaps in his early to mid-twenties exit the building. His clothes were clean, his body was clean, he was dressed appropriately for place and weather. He stopped a couple of feet away from me, checked the messages on his phone, then turned around, raised his left arm in the universal hug motion and said, "Okay give me a hug. I gotta go."

I pointed to my chest and mouthed, "Me?"

He started laughing and asked, "What was your first thought when you heard me say that?"

I said, "Well, if you were serious, I thought it might be best just to go with it."

He laughed even harder, walked over, hugged me, and thanked me for making his day.

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