This morning a homeless person tried to charge me a toll to enter my office building. He stood above me on the stairs and stretched out his arms, not intending to let me pass until he'd extracted some change. He mumbled something about, "It's America," I guess the logic being in America one can erect arbitrary toll/panhandling stations wherever one chooses? Luckily I'd run into someone else who works in the building while parking my car, so we were walking in together. He just looked the man in the eye and walked right passed him, and I followed closely behind.
That sort of thing really bothers me, but perhaps not for the reason it should. I didn't feel much pity for the homeless man, I'm rather immune to that sort of thing these days, there are just so many homeless in the neighborhood where I work. No, what bothered me was how scared I felt. And how happy I was that I was walking in with Michael. What if I'd been alone? How would I have responded, confronted with a large man towering above me on the stairs, demanding money? For the next few days, I'm sure I'm going to be nervous as I approach the entrance to our building. I hate feeling unsafe at work.