There was a couple following me. Technically I don’t know they were following me, but I do take a pretty meandering route to the bus stop, and they were staying with me. I can’t say why but it made me nervous. Normally people following me, or just walking the same way, doesn’t bother me. I’m a very trusting person–some might even say too trusting. They didn’t look sketchy either. Not that I even know what a sketchy person looks like. I’ve always been taught to not judge people based on their appearance, and that’s been confirmed throughout my life. I knew a kid in seventh grade who got a Mohawk haircut. Maybe he gave it to himself. This was the ’80’s and the punk movement was in full swing and if you saw someone with a Mohawk you might think they were kind of sketchy, or, if you’d seen that very special episode of Quincy, you might think they were downright dangerous. Or if you’d seen The Road Warrior. The school administrators thought his haircut was inappropriate and that it would be distracting so they made him stay in the principal’s office where we all saw him every time we went to class, so instead of the novelty for us wearing off for us in about ten minutes which it would have if he’d been with us we were still laughing about it a week later, but that’s another story. I think he’s still got the Mohawk now, along with some face tattoos and piercings, and works in investment banking.
Anyway I was headed down the final stretch to the bus stop where I could see several people waiting for the bus. Then I looked back and could see that the couple behind me was still following me but what was of greater concern is that the bus was coming, so I started running. I was worried the couple, who I’m pretty sure weren’t following me, might think I was scared and running away from them, although, now that I think about it, if they weren’t following me they probably didn’t notice or care that I suddenly started running. And I was running because I knew I couldn’t trust the people at the bus stop to tell the driver to wait for me. That’s happened to me too many times: I’m running to the bus and I yell to the people boarding to ask the driver to wait and they just ignore me. And you never can tell by what they look like if they’re going to do that.