I blame it on my mother, who’s mind is far more criminal than my own, and it is fortunate for the sake of the world at large that she generally uses her power for good. My criminal mind can’t even begin to compare, but it does rear its head every now and then.
So I’ve decided that it’s in my best interest to know the area where I live very well. This means that I need to know how to get from any point in my neighborhood to any other point by many different routes, and that means that I have to explore routes other than the obvious grid of streets and alleys. There are a couple obvious reasons for this being a good idea, wherever you live. One is that if you are a single young girl living alone in the city (as I am) it’s a good idea to know where you can go to get away from someone quickly and quietly. The other is that if you are a single young girl living alone in the city, it’s a good idea to know what little nooks and crannies other people (with truly criminal intent) might have discovered to hide in. And finally, less obvious but no less important, if I was ever to find myself playing a game of laser tag on Capitol Hill, I would kick ass. So to that end, I’ve started taking back routes all over the hill, with the goal being to stay on a street or in an alley for half a block or less at a time. It’s a fun game, and I’ve discovered all sorts of cool stairs and pass throughs between buildings and behind garages. So far, I only play this game during the day, but I’d like to get good enough at it that I can slink about the hill at night with no one being any wiser and without running into any shady characters. Since I’m moving away from the hill in three weeks, it’s unlikely that I will attain the goal, but it’s a fun game anyway.
But here’s the thing. Today, I had discovered a cool new stairway, which I especially liked since it doubled back around the building and ended up back in the alley that it started in only further north, coming very close to streets on two sides, but without actually connecting to the street. This seemed like a handy trick stair case to know about. If I was truly in an emergency situation, I could easily hop a fence on either side and be out of the loop, and if I was kicking ass at laser tag, I would quickly double-back behind a pursuer and shoot them from behind. But as I got halfway down it, someone who lived in the building was walking up the stairs. I smiled politely and said excuse me as I walked by, and I’m sure I didn’t look as though I intended anyone any harm, but he seemed bothered nonetheless. “Where are you going?” he demanded. I smiled even more politely, put on my best sweet innocent girl tone, and pointed to the street, “To the street.” “Well, this is all private through here. You have to go that way.” And he points to the alley I just came from. So, technically, he’s right, it is private property and he’s within his rights to kick someone out of it, but it really just irks me. I mean, if you live in an apartment complex on Capitol Hill, you can’t truly be hoping for solitude and privacy, right? And we’re talking about a sidewalk between two buildings, not his porch or anything. And even if you *really* didn’t want people walking past your apartment, wouldn’t it make sense to ask people nicely? Maybe a little “please” action…or an “if you don’t mind”…or an “I would really appreciate it if”. But he stood there pointing, and I didn’t feel like trying to pretend that I was seeing someone in the building, so I went back through to the alley.
But now, I have something to prove. I circled the apartment building a few times from the street (and waved at the man each time, who was watching me from his apartment door, so now I know which apartment he lives in). I also know which car he drives, since I’ve seen him around the hill before and he drives a noticeable car. I wouldn’t do anything truly criminal to him, but I really would like to *bother* him. Perhaps leave a little something in his courtyard each morning, just so he knows that a *trespasser* has been there. Maybe a leaf stuck under his windshield wiper each afternoon (will have to check into the car alarm). I need to take a couple more looks at the building, but I think it’s relatively simple to get on the roof, meaning it would be possible to easily hang things in front of his windows, just for fun. Like say, pop cans, or stick mobiles.
I wonder if it will occur to him to be nicer to people, since not everyone would draw the line where I do on criminal behavior. A little trespassing is about all I’m up for, but there are certainly folks out there who’s lines are drawn differently.