Monday, March 18, 2013

Rescued by Ex-convicts

My friend Zoe shared a story of her recent experience on the 'L' with me, and gladly agreed to share it with all of you. It's a really great reminder to set aside our preconceived notions about people, and really appreciate the kindness of others. 
This morning on the El, a 30-something white man said to me and my friend, “You two look beautiful today,” and when we politely thanked him for the compliment, he ambled over to the seat next to mine and asked me where I was headed. “To class,” I said, to which he responded, “Want me to save you? We could go dancing…” and then he mumbled, “…horizontally…”  
When we got off at Howard, we walked quickly away from him, but he managed to follow us onto the Red line train to Morse. Thankfully, in that train car I ran into two ex-convicts whom I had interviewed for our group enterprise story on re-entry programs in Rogers Park. Their large muscular bodies seemed to scare the stalker, and he soon fell asleep a few seats away while I laughed and talked with those kind men, and he did not notice when my friend and I tiptoed out of the train.  
It is times like these that I appreciate the diverse connections I make through journalism, and though I am terrified of travelling on my own on the El again, I am thankful that we succeeded in escaping that creepy guy who called us beautiful.

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