Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Part One: In Which the Narrator Is Waylaid By Highwaymen
With the cafe opening pushed back until March (aprox.) Marie has been working at a Safeway about 10 blocks from our house to make ends meet. Unfortunately, as is often the case with grocery store jobs, she is often required to work late. "Late" meaning nine or nine-thirty pm.

Being the gallant gentleman that I am, I have offered to meet her on these late nights so she doesn't have to walk alone. It's actually rather pleasant to take a leisurely stroll in the late evening. It gives me a little quiet time in which to ponder various things. And you all know how I love to ponder... especially as I wander.

But, anyway, she worked until nine last night. I wrapped things up at home and left to meet her around twenty 'til. Seattle is in the midst of a rather bitter cold snap. The ground is coated in slick ice and crunchy snow, which is why, I later realized, I didn't think anything of the two men approaching me with their faces covered in scarves.

I was on 26th Ave, just past E. Spring St., far enough into the block to be out of the circle of light cast by the lone street light on the corner but still almost a whole block from the well lit, heavily travelled Union St.

I nodded hello to the men as we passed and continued walking.

"Hey! You got the time?" the first one shouted.

I turned around. He walked up to me. He was about my size, the other one a bit bigger. Savvy enough to not pull out my cell phone on a dark street, I offered up, with a shrug "Eight-thirty... quarter to nine."

"Eight-thirty," he mumbled, taking another step closer to me. "You got change for a five?"

"Nah, sorry man. I don't," I said.

"Why don't you wanna help me out?" he asked in a menacing tone.

There was movement on my left. His compatriot had left the sidewalk and was circling around me from the street. I moved my hands from my jacket pockets to my pants pockets and felt for my knife.

"I know you got money!" There was no mistaking the threat in his voice now. He stepped forward.

I took two steps backwards, then turned and began walking briskly away. I made it only a few steps before I heard the crunch of two pairs of running feet in the snow.

I whirled around and planted my feet as firmly as I could on the slick sidewalk. My hands flew out of my pockets, in my right I held my pocket knife. With a nudge of my thumb and a flick of my wrist it snicked open.

"I told you I've got no money!" I snarled. The men skidded to a halt on the ice. They looked at my knife, then up at me. We eyed each other for a moment.

I took two steps backwards, then turned and ran to Union.

But in my defense it wasn't an all out fleeing for my life run. I had bared my fangs and growled and my attackers had stopped short. I ran just fast enough to put some distance between us.

The rest of my walk was uneventful.

And that's what I did last night.

Here is a picture of the corner. The action took place on the sidewalk, inbetween the tree and the garbage bin by the car.
corner of DOOM