Wednesday: I am at the corner of Connecticut and Yuma, walking north crossing Yuma with the light. A convertible (rather snazzy) is waiting to make a left turn onto Yuma. I want to make sure he sees me. He is not moving. I walk. He starts to move. I stop. He keeps coming. I step back. He yells at me, “Dude! Either walk or stay on the curb. Don’t stop once you’ve started!”, giving me a look mixed with pity and derision. A young man is behind me on foot. He says to me, “Boy, what’s with him?”. I tell him I thought it was OK (although I could have said the same thing to him, “start or stop, driver”), because he called me “dude”, thus recognizing me as an equal of some sort. It could have been worse.
Friday: I am in my car, on Davenport St. at the light at Connecticut, waiting for the light to change. A car makes a right turn onto Davenport St, but the right turn is very, very broad, and it almost runs into me. I look at it, wondering if it is the crying toddler in the car seat in back, the cell phone in which the driver was engaged in animated conversation, or the dog sitting on the driver’s lap that caused her to turn to carelessly. Or perhaps it was a fourth thing, invisible to me.
Today: Again walking up Connecticut Avenue, on my way to buy some bagels. In front of me is a young(ish) man, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, with a back pack (nothing unusual yet), carrying a heavy winter coat (this made him seem potentially weird to me). We near the corner of Nebraska, walking north. He abruptly stops, turns and says: “Why are you following me? I don’t like you walking behind me. If you want to walk so fast, keep walking. Cross the street. What do I care if you get hit by a car? I am not afraid of the police. They can’t do anything to me. I don’t have a record. Keep going. Go on.”
I decide to cross Connecticut, rather than Nebraska, to get to the other side of the street from him. He stops and looks at me while I am waiting for the light to change. I look back at him. “What are you looking at me for?”, he yells.
The light changes, and I cross the street. We are walking parallel for a block or two, and then he disappears.