Friday, April 3, 2009
I notice a man pull into a parking lot as I walk by. He's driving a minivan. We make eye contact and he smiles at me. I can't remember if he waved, but his facial expression seemed more than just friendly passing. I give him the standard head nod and continue walking. I figure if he wanted to talk, he would of rolled down the window or made another gesture. The truth is I don't really want to talk. It's my experience that when men stop you on Ponce, they're not interested in conversation.
Five minutes later I look up and the same guy has pulled into another parking lot as I'm walking by. This time he rolls down the window. He's middle-aged with a warm smile. He asks me if I'm alright. The question catches me off guard. I stop and think about my response. I wonder if he's being honest or he's on the prowl. I answer yes. His eyes glance around. Them seem to suggest that I shouldn't be here. He asks again, as if to give me a second chance to admit that I need help. Again, I inform him that I'm fine. For good measure, I tell him I live here. He nods and I keep walking.
I hear him slowly drive off behind me. I wonder if he was truly keeping an eye out for troubled people. If so, he's not the first to come here to start looking.