I’ve been accused of many things over the last month. Among the comments disparaging my character (just kidding) are repeated statements that I am too open and as a woman walking alone in downtown I am crazy to talk to any random person on the street. Guilty? It’s true, I really have no qualms talking to random strangers as though I’ve known them for years. It’s actually a lot of fun at times.
However, there are rules to this game, if you haven’t noticed already. Rule #1: I am only willing to have a conversation during daylight hours. Once that sun sets, I’m sorry friends, my headphones are on and the “don’t talk to me” body language is in place. Rule #2: if your eyes are bloodshot, your bodies are randomly convulsing because of some substance you’ve recently ingested or…you are running in place while shouting “I’m late for my next appointment” (yes this did happen), then likely I’m going to cross the street and avoid you. Rule #3: I trust my gut. People give off vibes and sometimes those vibes tell me this person is no good. There have been a few times that I’ve come across an individual who did not do or say anything that made me wary. It was simply a gut feeling telling me it’s best to pretend like I don’t understand what is being said and move on quickly. Rule #4: Don’t talk back no matter what. Even if you think you have a witty comeback or you want to put someone in their place, it’s really not worth it. Just walk away from that situation. So far these rules have kept me out of real trouble while walking the streets of DTLA on my own.
And so this morning I had a fun conversation with a transient about dog walking.
I was out walking SB (and for those who don’t remember because it’s been a lifetime since my last posting SB or Stink Butt is my loving name for my little pup who still has some flatulence problems) this morning. We were passing near Big Man Bakes on Main St. SB started to sniff next to the store front because it was apparent some other dog already relieved himself at that very spot. Being the good male dog that he is, SB positioned himself to mark the territory for his own when I made my ‘tsking’—a sound learned after watching hours upon hours of The Dog Whisperer—and pulled him away. From across the street I heard this man yell in my direction, “Hey, what, you’re not going to let your dog piss there?!” I looked at him for a moment and responded, “this is someone else’s property and it’s not an appropriate spot for my dog to relieve himself. We are going up to that tree over there.” The man laughed a little and said “OK (still chuckling) I guess I should stop doing that too then.”
Honestly, at this point I really had no idea how to respond to that remark. So I just smiled and said, “well, it is the courteous thing to do, and you know karma can be a b*tch.”
The man laughed again and walked away waving goodbye. SB and I made it to the next tree where he looked at me as though I’d ruined his favorite game for a second.