Shout …shout … let it all out … and it just might save you too!
I’ve learned a lot from traveling around the country (specifically getting to 12 states with $10 to my name), and also taking public transportation in LA for 600 days.
I now know due to synesthesia, I can “feel” things in situations, which for the most part, kept me out of trouble.
Except for the time I was hit in the head with a brick, and then the other time, when I got drugged at a bar and was being placed in a cab as one of my twitter followers saw what was happening and intervened (placing me over his shoulders – saving me from the creepers).
OUTSIDE of those situations, I have a sixth sense of my environment.
That sixth sense came in handy on an otherwise typical day.
It was so typical in fact that my photographic memory just remembers that I had left a meeting and had to do a bus transfer at Vermont to head back in the direction I was heading.
It was around 3 or 4pm.
I remember seeing kids running around, so it was sometime after the school rush, but long before dark (as it was a summer month).
I stood there with my white Beats by Dre headphones on, backpack, and whatever sponsored clothing I had at the time.
The backpack was large enough to think “she has a laptop in there” but not large enough to go “this is too heavy to carry.”
As I waited for the bus, I noticed three men approaching where I was standing.
Not abnormal considering it’s a busy bus stop, but abnormal in that I don’t like crowds so I was standing far enough away to have space for myself.
Someone encroaching said personal space was weird, MULTIPLE PEOPLE approaching said space was stranger danger.
Immediately I took notice, but stayed calm.
I watched the men create this, half circle barrier from where I was standing, which created a shield from the street visibility wise.
The whole process took a few milliseconds, and to anyone else, it would look like the guys were in a group huddle.
Only I knew they weren’t huddling … I didn’t EXACTLY know what they were doing, but I knew I was the object of their attention and that felt like trouble.
(Which is really impressive considering how many days up until that point that I was perfectly fine!!)
Instinctively, I began CRYING … SOBBING SO HARD … it was a cry … shout … BORDERLINE BLOOD CURDLE SCREAM.
The guys immediately stopped getting closer but were still close enough for me to look in their eyes and see the fear of “oh no!! We picked a crazy one!! No way!!”
I continued sobbing thinking about every dog I had ever had that died.
I cried for our dog Honeybee … Max … Ginger … Rocky … (this was pre-Buster boo) … I even cried for my grandparent’s dogs Abby and Suzy … for a solid five minutes before the bus arrived.
Still sobbing, but slightly quieter now, I paid the fare and sat towards the back.
The men got on the bus, but stayed far away from me … as did the rest of the travelers that day … which felt pretty great since my personal space had already been violated.
I was the lowest hanging fruit, in that moment, standing at the bus stop.
The guys thought I was an easy target (which technically speaking I was with a backpack and expensive headphones on).
I used my instincts, and environmental awareness to instantly change that narrative, preventing me from being messed with.
If you EVER find yourself in a situation that even REMOTELY FEELS DANGEROUS … just start crying.
Crying so hysterically in public makes you look crazy.
Had I not reacted the way that I did, I prolly would have ended up crying in private inside a police station giving eye witness description on my attackers.
(Which I find hard with synesthesia. I can recognize people, but only by their outlined shape. Not by what they were wearing and their eye color.)
Stay alert. Not afraid.
And save those sad stories!!!!
In this case, it saved me.