Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Who are you?"

I sometimes get paid to sit and watch. I used to get paid to sit and watch more often but mostly we have people we can hire to sit and watch but I had a hunch that there wasn't going to be much to watch so I figured that I would give it forty five minutes.

I counted cars for three fifteen minute intervals and wasn't asked anything from anybody in the neighborhood except for the last two minutes. Normally, in a quiet neighborhood, the residents tend to ask you what you are doing which sometimes throws off your counting.

I don't count in my head, I write down hash marks, the kind were every fifth one is diagonal. I didn't have too many diagonal lines.

I was parked outside a house where an elderly lady fussed with her recycling bin when she wasn't looking out the front door.

I figured she was wondering what I was doing outside of her house but could not muster the courage to ask but then a car pulled up behind me and a guy in his forties got out and entered the house.

I then figured that the old lady had been just waiting for her son. A couple minutes later a little girl walked down the stairs and peered into my passenger side window. I smiled and waved. She seemed rather indifferent and went back up the stairs.

She had dark hair the just passed her shoulder and dark brown eyes and a serious look.

A moment later she looked in my window again as she was walking passed with whom I assumed to be her father.

I waved again.

"Who are you?" she asked with a sense of protection, at me through my closed window. I turned the car on so I could lower the power window. "I work for the city and I'm doing a traffic count," I replied but she seemed skeptical. Her father said, "Well, now we know."

I still don't think she believed me though, but she wanted information, so she asked. I could imagine her overhearing the conversation between her father and her grandmother about what I was doing, seemingly just sitting there doing nothing at all because one car would pass about every three minutes. She took it upon herself to ask, she went to the source and to her family's credit, they let her ask. I was seated in a car and she was on the sidewalk and they were not more than eight feet away, so the little girl was in no danger (because I know somebody is probably thinking of saying something about not talking to strangers). I was slightly surprised that one of the adults hadn't asked.

Editor's Note: I was in front of the beige house on the right.

Locked up bookcase outside of Brattle Book Shop (It was raining)


Melissa said...


You should especially never talk to strange children. They're pretty devious and you never know what they have up their sleeve. She could have thrown a water balloon at you or a rock, even.

I bet you never knew how much mortal danger you placed yourself in until I told you, did you?

Timothy said...

I sort of forgot about that bookcase photo but I took it with you in mind.

I'll try to be more careful around strange children.

Thanks for looking out for me.

Melissa said...

You are quite welcome. I like looking out for you.