Monday, May 04, 2015

Sometimes I forget

It's just another cool and perfect spring night, and I've finished another Epic Late-Night Grocery Run. I'm leaving the Safeway, pushing a little half-sized shopping cart, and I can't help but smile as I look up at a beautiful blue-white full moon glowing through a lace web of cloud, on my way out to my car.

And between the door and my car, in the parking lot, is a large SUV with the windows down, and in the driver's seat of the SUV is a man. I don't know whether he's simply upset, off his regular medication, or both, but he is spitting and foaming out a ranting running commentary, fuming and rocking so hard the car is bouncing on its wheels, his profanity frequent and incandescent and barking out like bullets through an unsuspecting crowd.

I keep walking, trying to maintain a normal pace; wait until I'm next to the car to unlock the trunk; try to put the groceries away at regular speed. Panic attracts attention. And all the while the yelling and swearing -- and now, because I'm close enough to hear it -- the shouted threats against this man's unknown, perhaps invisible assailant continue to escalate.

It's not a phone conversation, because he never stops. He doesn't even pause.

I consider ditching the shopping cart, but decide to scoot it into a corral instead, mentally trying to formulate a plan in case he gets out of the SUV. When I turn, his car is rocking violently, and I make myself walk, not run, back to my car and unlock it. The minute I'm inside, I surreptitiously lock all the doors and drive off in a different direction from home, until I'm sure he hasn't decided to follow me.

Since I'm a night owl, I run most of my errands after dark, and most of the time I don't feel unsafe. But when occasions like this crop up, as they do -- well, Miss V has a perfect phrase for it: "Sometimes I forget that I'm a girl."

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