Remember that song by the Judds......remember the Judds? Anyways since I am using this blog as a way to keep a kind of journal I decided to write down this little story. I was on my way to Salt Lake on my second day of work at the discovery gateway children's museum. I got off frontrunner and onto trax. As soon as I sat down a man came and sat on the bench across the isle from me. He looked like he might be homeless, and that would have made sense since I was riding the free trax line. As he sat down he looked over so I smiled and went back to what I was doing. He immediately stood up and asked if he could come over and sit in the bench next to me. I told him that was all right, it seemed like he probably had some sort of learning disability or had been affected by lots of drug abuse or something. He started talking to me asking questions like where I lived, where I was going etc. I tried to be polite but soon began to just ignore him. I took my cell phone out and tried to call Austin, but he didn't answer. Soon he began to sing to me and ask if I liked Coors and what kinds of beer I liked. I told him I didn't drink and then continued trying to politely ignore him. I was starting to feel very uncomfortable and nervous. When we were finally (I say finally because the 2 1/2 blocks seemed like forever) were approaching the Planetarium station where I would get off he asked me if this was my stop. I told him to go ahead thinking he would get off before me and I could avoid any other situations. When we finally came to a stop I had to get off. I thought I was good, but as I approached the cross walk I realized he was right behind me still talking and asking questions. As I was crossing the street I started looking around for other people in the area. I also tried to call Austin once again, but again he didn't answer, so I called my mom. I was getting more nervous he asked me if he could use my phone for the second time, when I told him no he started saying, "please don't call the cops." I saw a man crossing the street and decided I would follow him. I was very grateful I did because on the other side of the street I saw a police officer on a bike. I crossed the street and turned down the block (only one block to go...). By now I was talking to my mom on the phone and had told her that someone was following me. She could hear him still talking to me and was surprised when I told her that was the man who was following me, she thought someone had been walking next to me and was talking on a cell phone. About half way down the block the police officer rode up and the man started talking to him saying the police officer should be careful where he parked his bike or he was going to steel it. I was still on the phone with my mom at this point and was turning the corner to got into the building. I cut behind the man thinking I could just quickly go in. He turned to follow me and the police officer asked if we were together. As the man said, "yes" I turned around and shook my head at the police officer and told him, "no". He then told the man he needed to leave me alone. By the time I got up the first couple stairs in the building and turned around the man and the police officer were both gone.
I write this because when I was little I was incredibly shy. My mom always used to tell me, "You don't have to talk to anybody, but make sure you smile." She would tell me this because I pretty much would walk around with a scowl on my face all the time. I still can hear my mom telling me that in my head and have tried to make a conscious effort to "at least smile at people". I think the world is getting more crazy all the time. It is hard to know when and around what people you need to be incredibly cautious. I know I have tried to be more aware of my surroundings as I get off the train and head towards trax I look for a larger group of people getting on the same car and will follow them. I don't think I was in any grave danger or anything, but this was a good eye opener experience for me to realize there is a big world outside of Eden, Utah. I am very grateful for the salt lake police officer who obviously saw the situation that may not have looked like to co-workers heading down the sidewalk and that he came over.....now I just wish I had been thinking clearly enough to say thanks to him before I went into the building.
I used the Judds song for my title because I remember my mom telling us that they used to ride the bus all the time when they were young. They'd got to the mall or to deseret gym to swim. But these days you just don't send your younger kids out on public transportation. I think things are way different from when I was a kid.
6 months ago