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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Restricted Freedom

I had an interesting experience in high school. OK, all of high school was an interesting experience.

This experience involved the Army Reserves or National Guard. They rolled up to the school in a big truck. After filling out of the truck  and into the school, they started imposing crazy rules like girls only hallways.

My locker happened to be at the tail end of a one way hallway. I didn't want to walk all the way around so I played the part and the guard felt sorry for me and let me pass.

That caused a brief uproar. They guys behind me started to complain.

Years later. Actually shortly after September 11, 2001, I was outside my condo waiting for my ride . I was standing by the road which lead to the parking lot. This would save time by shortening the distance my ride had to go to get me.

An old lady drove slowly by . I didn't think much of it until she had gone all the way around the parking lot and stopped right behind me.

I thought she might need something so I walked over to find out.

“Can I help you?” I asked after she rolled her window down a bit.

“What are doing?” She asked. Her voice trembling a bit. I figured she was just old.

I related the strange encounter to my Mom.  I was informed the news had put out some alert about a threat to residential areas  like apartment complexes. Or condos I thought bitterly.

Thanks paranoid people. I really don't need your help.

More years later. I was walking around my neighborhood as I often do. Another old lady came running out of her house and proceeded to the sidewalk a few feet in front of me.

I try not to walk directly behind people in general. I even make noise to make my presence known. I guess I'm a silent walker because I have spooked people unintentionally.

I thought about turning around and walking the other direction or crossing the street. Suddenly she stopped. I slowed and she turned to watch me.

I thought there was something wrong. Then I saw the fear in her eyes.

What was this all about?

“Go ahead of me ,”  she said.

I was perplexed. She had no reason to fear.I wanted to reminder her she ran out in front of me. She could have waited for me to pass her house before darting out. Was it my fault she didn't see me? I clearly saw her!

I was tempted to bump the parinoid, old lady into the bushes as I walked passed her.

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