Sunday, May 25, 2008

Running Into Trouble

A few years ago I was jogging on this back road in Snoqualmie, WA called the Millpond road. The road is exactly that. A pond and some woods and a Mill. It runs for about a half mile from 202 to a bridge crossing the river and some neighborhoods. I had jogged it plenty of times before and didnt think anything of it. When you grow up in a small town, you tend to just feel safe, but today, as I jogged around a curve in the road, I saw a construction truck sitting on the side of the road with two guys in it. I ignored them as I went past, but I caught their leers and felt uncomfortable. I was a good distance from 202 and still a good way from the bridge. I rounded another curve and looked at my cell phone. It had no service. I heard the truck start and coming up behind me. It passed me slowly and disappeared around a bend. I breathed a sigh of relief...but then I heard it coming back. 'Oh, what the hell?" I thought as it passed me again, this time going faster. I began to look around for an escape route if I needed one. On one side of me was a swamp with woods. On the other side of me was the pond. I decided that I was a good enough swimmer to swim it if I had to. I heard the truck come back again. This time I was starting to feel sick to my stomach. It roared past me this time it what was obviously meant to be a threatening way. I was kicking myself for jogging alone. But I kept trotting along. What else could I do? There's a little clearing right before the pond ends and the woods begin where fishermen sometimes hang out. I was praying there'd be someone there, but of course, there wasn't. I stopped there anyway. I wasn't sure whether to go on and cut myself off from the water escape route or keep going and try to sprint for the bridge. I considered hiding. I heard the truck coming back again. I stepped behind a tree, feeling stupid for hiding, but it was better than nothing. The truck shot past the clearing and squealed to a halt. It slowly backed up. I stepped out and took out my cell phone. No coverage, but they didnt know that. I put it to my ear and hoped it looked like I was talking to someone. I whirled around and stared right at them as they came into view. I tried to look tough. They stared at me and then started laughing. I flipped my hand open in a gesture that meant like: 'What do you want?" I was livid all of the sudden. They laughed again and took off. I didn't hesitate. I started running faster than I've ever run before in the opposite direction towards the bridge, and I didn't stop until I was across it and in a neighborhood. I was shaking and furious and I cried all the way home.
The next day I got in my truck and drove out to the road around the same time of day. I had some idea of confronting the two pieces of human trash if they showed up. But they didn't. Which is just as well. I didn't think of reporting it to the police, but I probably should have.

I hate living in a world where I have to be afraid to walk or jog alone. I can't drive down that road without shuddering and it makes me feel so helpless and angry that two stupid men could make me feel threatened and there wasn't anything I could do about it. Even if they were just kidding around...thats no way to joke! But if it wasn't a joke, it may have been the cell phone that saved me. I now carry pepper spray and stick to residential streets.

Be careful, girls, whether its the city, the country or suburbia...it doesn't seem to matter. I was really lucky. And now Im much smarter.

~Thanks for hearing me vent!

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