Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm Gonna Die!

I came across this news article today stating "Newark Marks Its First Murder Free Month in 44 Years." For those of you who have never heard of Newark, its a city in New Jersey. It's one of the last cities you reach before hitting the NJ/NY line and going into New York City. Now I may live in NC, but i was born in NJ and after i graduated from undergrad I moved back to NJ for awhile. I had on experience with Newark (outside of the airport) while i lived there. IT.WAS.THE.SCARIEST.MOMENT.OF.MY.LIFE!



So it was December and needed to finish up Christmas shopping for my family back in NC. My stepdad is notoriously hard to shop for. So most years i simply buy him a Harley-Davidson shirt from whatever city i am currently living in. Well the nearest Harley-Davidson was in Rahway, NJ. So when i got off work in Princeton I drove towards Rahway in my little 4-door Chevy Cavalier. The Harley-Davidson was down a side street i needed to turn left on. Now I had only been to Rahway twice before in my life: For my birth, and to pick up my birth certificate. So naturally i totally missed this side street (I blame the construction going on).

And i continued driving and driving and driving. Until i reached Elizabeth City (I think) when i realized I had overshot where i was going. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a left turn in NJ, nor is there such a thing as a U turn. So I continued driving hoping to find a place where i could turn right and then have a light to make a left. Unfortunately that did not happen until i reached Newark.

So I drive into Newark about 6:30 and its getting dark. The first thing i notice is how many closed up/boarded up buildings there are. But I've seen that before so i don't worry. After going through the city for 3 minutes i finally find a back street to turn around on. So i wheel my little red Chevy down the road and stop to do a three point turn. And then i look around...

... on the sidewalk across from me is two women, dressed in short, brightly colored spandex dresses, and stripper shoes. Okay, prostitutes- I've never actually seen one in the wild before but as long as they aren't coming over to my car, I'm okay with that.

To my left, what i can only assume was a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk with a bottle of something-presumably alcohol. Okay, not something I'm used to seeing but I've walked down Manhattan before I can handle this. He looks to be in too much of a drunken stooper to bother me

Further down the street is a man dressed in red and black. He's standing out on the street corner smoking and he looks like he is waiting for someone. Now in daylight under normal circumstances i might not be bothered by this. But in the dark, on a back street filled with closed buildings, with 2 strippers and a homeless guy on the sidewalk all i can think is: OH shit I'm gonna die.

Because this guy is either a drug dealer or a gang member.Either way I am a white bitch from the south in a 4-cylinder Chevy cavalier. So at this point, panic has set in. I start making my three point turn muttering "I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die." I refuse to look at anything beside the road because if any of these people are approaching my car I would have had heart attack. So i speed through my 3-point turn and come out to the end of the road where the light is. Ever prayed to a traffic light to change green because your life may be in its hands? I have.

Finally the light changes green and i slam on my accelerator and speed back down the streets to Rahway where i find the right street and the Harley-Davidson. Where i proceed to get out of my car and kiss the ground because I'm not dead.

In retrospect...yeah maybe i overreacted just a little, but one of those prostitutes was eyeing me funny.
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