The other night, I was out returning home from meeting a friend. I was not taking my usual route because it was later than I usually leave, and thus the route I took put me into a neighborhood that I consider dodgy. (Part of the place along Killingsworth.) Now in Portland, dodgy areas are mixed in with better areas like those dry lumps you sometimes get in pancake batter, so no matter how dodgy, you're always no farther than 10 blocks from a decent neighborhood, but still, late at night in an untrustworthy neighborhood I know is riddled with crime despite (or because) it crawling with more pigs than a factory pork farm, so naturally I'm on guard.
This woman (white, skinny, smoker, looked to be in her late 20's physically but her eyes said late 40's at least, comes up to the stop and asks when the bus will be there, as I was just then putting my phone down from checking. Fine, I don't mind simple queries from strangers, so I told her. Then she was like "Can I borrow your phone to make a phone call." Internally I'm derisively laughing, but externally I'm just like "No."
She offers to pay me 50 cents (oooooh, big fucking money!). I again say "No." At this point, the conversation is making me uncomfortable enough that words are getting difficult; thinking in words is getting difficult.
The woman then says "It'd be 50 cents more than you had before." Still, I said, "No." If I were more able to process words at that point, I would have explained why, but I couldn't.
She launches into some rambling thing about having had her phone stolen 17 times since Christmas, so I respond "Then you should understand better than anyone why I don't want to let you use my phone." She immediately starts backtracking by saying "Well some of them were just lost, not stolen." But this was the point where I decided to leave. I had been considering it anyway, since it would be 23 minutes til the bus came, so I just left without a word. I could hear her shouting undoubtably rude things to me, but if I was able to hear any of it, my brain was no longer processing the words, so it all sounded like Charlie Brown-esque "Wah wah wah" to me. I walked two or three stops down, a distance of maybe 10 or 15 blocks, before stopping, expecting to see her on the bus.
No, she wasn't on the bus when I got on. But she somehow had made it two more stops ahead of me, getting on there. I am certain it was the same worman; I may have partial face blindness but if my brain has reason to pay attention, it remembers faces at least for a few weeks after a single encounter. She didn't look at me, thankfully, or try to talk to me. Still, I wonder how she got so far ahead of me without me seeing her pass me. Unless she went down a side street and ran flat-out. But why?
Anyway, if I'd been able to gather my thoughts enough to be more verbal before leaving, I would have told her the following:
"First of all, lady, my general rule wherever I go is that if I don't know you, I don't trust you. Except for obvious exceptions, like employees of places, and even then it's only so far. If some random employee at Target wanted to borrow my phone, I'd still say No.
"Secondly, not only are you a stranger, you're a stranger on a dark night in a dodgy neighborhood, so even if you were offering $1000, I STILL wouldn't let you use my phone. If you had an emergency, *I* would call 911 for you. My phone stays on my person at all times except when I'm at home.
"Third, even if you were a close friend and wanted to borrow my phone, I would expect more than 50 piddling cents. Even my would-still-be-homeless-if-not-for-my-
charity roommate offers more than that to make calls on my phone. But it's irrelevant because I don't trust anyone I don't know, and even less in dodgy neighborhoods, so you have about as much chance of me letting you use my phone as the moon has of spontaneously popping like a balloon and getting stuck in a tree.
"So basically, lady, if you need to make a phone call so badly, either find a payphone in the area or find one somewhere else, or find someone else gullible enough to fall for your obvious attempt at thievery. And anyway, even if I did give you my phone to use and you stole it, the joke would be on you because it's one of those free Assurance phones and is a barely-functional pile of rabbit pellets held together with yarn and faith."
*growls and shakes* Honestly, I have fucking trust issues and don't even fully trust my closest friends. I trust Amy, but when I let Amy use my phone, I hover over her waiting for it back.
Incidents like that make me wish I could fully switch to Alex without The Filter so he could sass her. I think if we could do that, there are interesting possibilities for the way the convo could have gone...( Scenarios, long. )
Seriously... this is just one example of the many reasons I don't like people I don't know trying to chat me up outside of certain contexts. Basically, if I'm out and about, and I don't know you, I don't want to talk to you at all. I will grudgingly answer simple, inoffensive queries like the time or directions somewhere or when the bus will get to the stop, but beyond that I generally want you to shut your fucking trap because unless you genuinely compliment me on something I'm wearing, especially something unusual like my cloak or my pentacle, I pretty much have no reason to think you're anything other than just another boring, annoying mundane/non-geek.
Now, IF something you say reveals to me that you are a geek, a pagan/satanist/new ager/etc, a pagan, etc-friendly person, and/or a fellow weirdo in some way, or have useful advice for me regarding things to help ease my burden of being so poor, THEN I will at least listen, and MAY even contribute. I have
been known to make new friends that way. But otherwise, I will assume you are another boring Normal and passively ignore you.
And obviously in some contexts it is reasonably safe for me to assume that you are safe to speak with, like if you show up to the pagan meetup, and/or are wearing a pentacle or somesuch yourself.
Yet if your behavior towards me is annoying, like the woman above or like that one idiotic extroverted Oedipus that one time months ago, and I have nothing else to judge you by, then I will file you under either "actively ignore the annoyance" or "worthy of naught but contempt."
I have had enough experiences with horrible people in my lifetime to give everyone in the world at least one, so I don't need any more. Understandably, I am very picky about who I give my time and attention to.
Man, my life would be very different if Alex could take over at times like that, unencumbered by The Filter. And my life would have been very different if Alex had existed when I was a child, before The Filter even developed. *wistful sigh*