I’ve always wondered what I would do in a crisis situation. Not that I haven’t been in panicked situations before, but I’ve always wondered what I would do if I were attacked. Today I was not attacked, but I sort of found out how I would behave if I was attacked.
Let me back up quickly. I always joke with my girlfriends that if we all go out we don’t have to worry about being murdered by anyone because I would kick their ass. Because I am slightly taller than the average man, and (if you weren’t already painfully aware) I lift weights. I assumed that if you’re one of those “tough girl” character tropes then that persona would carry over into a physical altercation.
While I am mostly a “tough girl” trope… I also listened to “I Dreamed a Dream” by Anne Hathaway on my way to work three times in a row. The only romantic comedies I can watch are the ones that end in death (because watching other people end up happily ever after makes me feel like my own existence is futile.) I used to read books about pretty girls when I was in high school because I figured their life experiences were ones I’d never have.
I was biking to the gym in the darkness this morning at 5:15 am and a homeless man who looked like the living dead slowly gangled across the sidewalk 25 yards ahead of my path. I was immediately cautious, not because I was outright afraid, but I was nervous that I would run him down with my stupid fixed gear bike. I mentally prepared to scoot out of his way, and successfully completed the maneuver.
However, as I was completing the maneuver he railed around and shouted at me:
“Hey pretty lady!”
Pause this image for a second. Homeless Zombie man has long dreadlocked grey hair stuffed haphazardly under a dirty turd colored beanie. He has his entire arm wrapped up in a bandage that can only be described as a dirty mummy wrap. He is holding onto several bags which appear filled to the brim with trash/bottles/etc/nothing. Homeless Zombie is not particularly large or tall, he is actually very lanky (like a corpse who has risen from the dead to haunt the streets of Culver City.) If there were a fight, I would probably win… Right?
The noise that escaped from my mouth when he swirled around (menacingly) on me, is a sound I’ve never heard myself make. I want to say it was a hybrid of howl, squeal, and shriek. It was a massive EXHALE that ground itself into a whine then came out as “HOHHHMYGOD!”
“Oh I’m sorry pretty lady did I scare you? Why don’t you come back here and give me a kiss to make it all better?” He said
I biked quickly to the rack outside the gym, I was very close and there were plenty of cars around. I figured if I could lock my bike up immediately then run inside I was totally fine. I got to the rack and started chaining up the bike hurriedly but I noticed he was approaching and yelling at me.
“I’m sorry, did I SCARE you?” He was zombie skulking towards me waving his bandaged arm around.
“Yeah you did…” I yelled awkwardly as I started half-sprinting in my floppy converse towards the sanctuary, LA Fitness.
“I’m sorry, don’t be scared I just wanna give you a kiss!!!” He was cackling maniacally and trotting after me towards the door. Luckily, I don’t think any homeless person is going to outrun me because I wasted 16 years of my life running in straight lines as fast as possible after someone fires a gun (if you think about it Track and Field is a really weird concept.)
I made it inside and was being melodramatic about it as I usually am in any situation outside of my normal routine. I explained the situation to the two people at the front desk who scan the pass when you come in. One of them was a man about my Dad’s age, and probably a good four inches shorter than me. The other was a woman who was probably a couple years younger than me.
In typical man fashion the Dad runs outside to look for the homeless dude and tell him what’s what. I knew this man would not actually confront Homeless Zombie because he would have about as much success in a scuffle as my actual dad would EVEN IF IT WAS with a half dead person. No offense, Alex.
They called the cops on the dude and it became this whole thing. I went upstairs to work out and mostly put it out of my mind, then they came up to ask me to talk to the cops who wanted some more information.
Of course, the officer was extremely attractive and I immediately wondered if maybe I had a thing for cops. The answer quickly became a resounding “No” when the guy made me feel like a complete asshat for being afraid.
“Oh, so he just wanted to talk to you?”
I mean… What? Yeah, this homeless guy just wanted to sit down and have a person to person conversation with me over a cup of MOCHA while I was clearly trying to bike to the gym. I didn’t ask you and your pal to drive out here GUNS A BLAZIN in the first place, I just wanted to let the fucking staff know that a Homeless Zombie was a potential threat to other women who are just trying to walk into the gym without making anyone uncomfortable for once in their life.
“Did he touch you?” He asked
“No, he didn’t touch me because I got off my bike and ran away from him?” I said with the upper inflection that accompanies a sentence ending in a question mark. They call this upspeak.
He smirked at me in a way that made me realize that he probably knew I thought his eyes were beautiful. Well, he might have picked up on that but by the end of our conversation I no longer wanted him physically because he made me feel stupid and that’s the last thing you should do to a woman if you want her to get in bed with you. PRO TIP.
I just tried to have a normal morning after a difficult restless night of dreaming I was deep in some weird rainforest jungle ropes course with my mom where I had to hold onto vines for my dear life, dependent entirely on my meager upper body strength. I honestly don’t even know if I rested at all because my entire dream was focused on survival. Then at the end of my dream I was in front of a cabinet full of cereal and ritz crackers and I wanted to eat it all but told myself I would hurt my gainz. So I ate none of the dream food.
In a scenario of Fight, Flight or Shit Your Pants… It looks like I am the type of person who shits her pants while she flies off. But without fail, I punctuated the entire experience with the lack of tact and perspective that only someone who spent the first 18 years of life in suburban Minnesota can really accomplish. What REALLY happened with me and Homeless Zombie? Pretty much nothing, but I still almost cried.
(Homeless Zombie looked like the zombies from the Ocarina of Time)
(So spot on, they could use this for his mugshot)