Walking through the supermarket parking lot today, a young man seemed to be walking toward me. I tensed up a bit, wondering why he was coming close to me. He said "Gotta love it when you can't find your car," or something like that. He pivoted away from me and walked on. I watched him until he in fact stepped into his car. Hmmm. Nothing more than a guy walking to his car.
I have documented a beating I received, long ago, at the hands of a stranger. Since then, I've been on edge in public space. Also, recall I recently witnessed an angry man shouting obscenities in a crowded store. You just wonder when someone is going to snap.
And yet, my brief parking lot interaction was only about twenty minutes after a pleasant interaction with a stranger who sold me chairs. I responded to a Craigslist ad for these chairs.
$35 for the pair. A pretty good find, I'd say.
I was only a little nervous going to meet the seller, who turned out to be friendly and easy to deal with. I wonder how one's position in society (race, gender, class, etc.) influences their anxiety level prior to a Craigslist transaction. The man I dealt with actually made a remark about Craigslist. I already forgot how he put it, but the point he was making was that there are dangerous people in the world and you never know who you might encounter. Maybe we were both relieved at the ease of our transaction.