Friday, January 16, 2015

I did something absolutely stupid crazy. But I'm glad.


So I'm sitting outside Pizza Heaven, near 7th st and Colter, eating a slice in my car and listening to the Suns game.

It's a small parking lot, filled up with 10 cars.

I'm parked at the far corner, facing the sidewalk. There are rows of apartment buildings across the street, which is six lanes wide.

Rush hour is over. The remaining traffic is infrequent and sleepy.

Al McCoy bows out for a commercial break, so I turn it down, deciding to people watch for a moment.

Perfect timing.

I'm facing the street, so I have a clear, almost panoramic view.

Across it is a slender girl walking in a hurry along the sidewalk.
She's wearing jeans and a hoodie, her arms wrapped tightly around herself. Something seems off. Anxiety. Fear.

"Fuckin BITCH what the fuck you doin?! I'm talkin to YOU! FUCKIN IDIOT!"

The voice echoes. A raspy 20-something male's. It's an ugly voice.

Shortly after the hollering appears its source.

This guy is loud and mean. Skinned head. Black sweatshirt, baggy jeans.


She's got about 40 feet ahead of him. He's not running after her, but he wants to.

Between each awful, abusive scream at her, he looks around, hoping no one's noticing.

But we all are. It was almost surreal. Who yells like that in public?

A person appears in a window of the apartment building, and says something down to him from the top floor.

Skinhead stops, looking up at the person and screams obscenities at them instead.

Good. It buys her another 20 feet.

I quietly step out of the MR2, being sure to grab the last slice of pepperoni and a napkin.

I'm not certain what I'm doing, yet. I'll watch and see. Might have to call the cops or something.


He's continuing after her now.

I'm discreetly walking on the opposite end of the street, keeping pace with him from a distance.

A couple on bicycles ride up to me. I share a nod with one of them as they pass, and keep following Skinhead.


This guy is bad news. I don't know the whole story, but no one deserves that kind of evil abuse screamed at them.

I have to stop him. But I'm no superhero.

And this pizza is really good.

We've passed at least a dozen other people. Men, mostly. They all saw and definitely heard Skinhead. But no one's doing anything. No one's saying anything. They all want to, but no one is. The girl is completely alone with an absolute psycho jerk after her in plain sight.

I've hurried my pace. Now I'm even with Skinhead. The girl is ahead of him, but he's closed some of the gap.

He notices me with a quick glance. Then stops and stares.

So I do too. I stop and stare at him, eating my pizza.


I watch him, chewing my pizza. It has just the right amount of crispiness, and the mozzarella is respectable.


Swallowing my bite, I pause.

"A crazy guy," I say. Loud enough so he can hear, but matter-of-factly.

I smile and take another bite of my pizza at him.


I made my eyes as wide as I could make them. I stretched my smile so wide it hurt.

Dropping my slice to the ground. Arms at my sides.

And froze, just like that. In the dark.

She's far away now, but my eyes stay glued to him. Swollen and piercing.

He's completely weirded out. Big time. Changing from aggression to confusion, to fear, now back to confusion.


I still haven't blinked. My cheeks are starting to burn, holding that grin.

"GO AWAY! LEAVE ME ALONE!" he swipes the air in front of him.

I open my mouth now. As big as I can, keeping my eyes wide open, directly at him. I thought of Zoltar and became him.

Skinhead steps into the street, a car dashes in front of him. He steps back.

Skinhead's breathing hard now, unsure of what to do. His gaze flicks to the side, then back at me.

The girl is gone. He's lost her. Now there's some fucking weirdo staring at him with pizza sauce and a creepy smile on his face.

On the inside I'm freaking out. What the hell am I doing? Is this actually working? She got away, at least.


My smile goes away. I tilt my head at him and frown. That did it.

He hurries into the Starbucks behind him. Looking over his shoulder at me a couple times.

The door closes behind him.

I light a cigarette and enjoy the breeze.

He'll find her eventually. But not tonight. She got away for now. I'm happy about that. I turn south, returning to Pizza Heaven where the MR2 waits.