13 February 2011

Creepy guy at 9 o'clock

I know, you're thinking, "Dang!  That woman has a night life!  She went out bar-hopping, got to hang out with her best buds, see and be seen..."  No.  This is not referencing some code to a girlfriend regarding a skeevy scammer at a bar or party...

It was 9 o'clock at night.

I had been running for about 23 minutes... not loving it.

I had set out in a conflicted headspace.  My husband is out of town and I really wanted to go for a run.  I talked with my older kids about this (the oldest is 11 and a half).  Would they be comfortable with me going out for a run after the youngest two were asleep?

"You're nuts!" you say.  "That's illegal!" you reprimand. No, it's not in California.   "That's just plain stupid," you think.

Hold the phone... don't go callin' CPS on me just yet...

Remember where I run.  It is inside The Gate.  The entire loop is 0.6 miles, so with the cross-streets, I am never more than a quarter mile from home.  The only people out EVER are the olderwalkingcouple and the occasional dog-walker ... oh, and once there was a group of kids skateboarding on a pole contraption ...but none of us ever speak... except me who always shouts out "hi" and waves to everyone.

So I feel like it is super safe.  And my older kids wanted to watch a movie anyway.  And I was taking my phone and set a timer for them to call me 3 times... at 25 minutes, 45 minutes and 50 minutes (at which point I would be walking in the door).  If I got no call, I would go home and find out why... and I could be there in a maximum of 2 minutes.

So it was 9 o'clock.  I had been running for about 23 minutes (I knew this because my kids had not yet called but did shortly).

As I finished up the backstretch and headed into the last turn of the lap... right near my house... there was a car.  It did not fit with the profile of cars in the enclave.  I am not being snooty just real.  It was way hoopty.  And the guy in it was a wreck.  And it was parked on this weird angle on the corner... totally not in keeping with the HOA regulations ;-)  I know this because we have been ticketed and towed for our hoopty truck not parking within said rules.  

I looked ahead, trying to not look like I was noticing but like I was some superstar badass fast runner who could kick the crap out of any dingdong who tried to mess with me and then out-run their car as they tried to mow me down in retaliation.  This was not funny... like the Drunken Bum episode was comical.  That was in the daylight... this was night.

So I looked ahead and realized there was a second guy.  I passed him and he broke into a trot.  He was big and unkempt.  Okay, so yeah... ummmm... I was freakin'.  Fuh-reekin.

Just then I saw the olderwalkingcouple.  Not like they could fend this big dude off should he decide to take all three of us out... but they could be witnesses.  Or something.

I kept running.  The kids called.  I told them to go lock the door.  They did.  When I finished that lap, the hoopty car was gone and so were the guys... and I saw the olderwalkingcouple... still walking... still alive.  So I continued.  Still a little nervous and very wary.

When I was done running, the olderwalkingcouple was coincidentally right in front of my house, finishing up their walk.  They actually talked to me!  (no, you have no idea... no one ever talks to anyone in this enclave... seriously... you cannot strike up a conversation with a neighbor... canNOT)  They said how impressed they were with my running as they see me all the time.  And how they noticed I was nervous about those guys.  Apparently, the hooptycarguys are tenants of the olderwalkingcouple.  They needed to meet up for some rental-related biz.  "They are very nice people... just they have had very hard lives."  So the creepy guy only looked creepy.  Whew.  Glad I was so lucky.

And I made friends with neighbors.  Who'd've thunk?

Do you ever run at night?  Outside, I mean.

Are you friendly with your neighbors?


  1. 1. Smart of you to plan ahead with the kids calling.
    2. I hate when I have to run my cars with people in them. I always think that they may try to pull me in with them.
    3. Good job on finishing out your run.
    4. Yes, I have the weirdest neighbor of them all. Right before Halloween he was caught stealing water from our outside hose (I just turned off the water) and our other neighbors (she called the police). For Halloween one of our other neighbors dressed up as the weird neighbor, with a mullet, jean cut-offs, a beer bottle and a bucket to collect water from the neighbors houses.

  2. Older kids old enough to hold down the fort, even if only for a little while = hallelujah!

    Sorry about the creepy guys. Not cool. Glad it didn't cause any problems! I am totally paranoid when I run, and almost never run after dark for that reason. I actually have an asp that I carry when I run later and it will be getting dark before I get home. Of course there are also enough animals out here that those are more likely to be the issue.

    Our neighborhood is amazing-there are only a handful of houses with neighbors that we don't really know. We are all fb friends and hang out together and do big neighborhood parties in the summer-I love it. I grew up in a neighborhood like that too. I would feel SO isolated if I lived somewhere where neighbors didn't talk to each other! We lived in once place for a few years where most of the neighbors kept to themselves, but the ones directly on either side of us were friendly, and others would at least wave back to us.

  3. Thanks for the def of hoopty! Your comment about my license plate on my Truck stings even more now that I know the meaning!

    I'll send you the bill for my next therapy appt!

  4. Glad you were save and the neighbors ended up being nice. ;) I remember your other story about the bum during the day. I don't have a problem running outside at night but I don't really like it...summer is fine but in the winter it is usually raining and I don't see well in the dark. :) Love your writing voice.


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