Fear II

Posting early today because the web host is doing “planned server maintenance” right about the time I generally go on the blog. The host claims it’ll only be down for a half hour, but of course that would be the half hour I’d be writing.

It occurred to me after I wrote about fear yesterday that I did undergo another truly frightening experience. It happened one evening in Philadelphia when I had been with some co-workers to see the play “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf.” It was at a theater across from where we worked so we trooped over, planning walk en masse back to our cars afterward since the neighborhood became a little dodgy after the office people went home.


We were burbling after the show – it was brilliant – and gently chiding the wife a co-worker who had recently moved from a town with a population of three hundred on a tiny island in the West Indies.

We crossed the street, turned the corner, and found ourselves staring at a deranged man – hair flying out from under a baseball cap, grubby jeans, torn shirt – who was pointing a gun at us. He yelled, “Run, run.” I froze for a second and then took off down into the subway entrance. I turned back and saw our West Indian friend, rooted in place. I ran back up, grabbed her, and hustled her down the stairs. The last thing I heard before I hit the landing was the same guy, yelling, “Police! Freeze!”

We stayed put for about ten minutes, until people coming down said the cops had caught their guy.

That was the first and last time anyone has ever pointed a gun at me. I was frightened but I’m sure not as abjectly terrified as the woman who had given up an island paradise for the mean streets. Welcome to Philadelphia!

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