You know the part in the murder movie where the woman has the bad guy stalking her and she’s at her front door, hands shaking, dropping her keys trying to get into the house? That was me about a week ago. I had just left my building to walk my dog when I encountered a homeless man. I live in a very mixed community, so I’m pretty hardened to the sight of someone defecating on the street, passed out or just shouting nonsensically. But this time it was different. When I attempted to walk past the man, he looked at me and started shouting, “You’re nasty! Go back to China, you nasty b***!” He then started throwing punches and trying to kick my dog.
I turned around and hustled back towards my apartment building — he chased me, flailing his arms in punches and stumbling kicks, shouting, “You better run, you better stay inside, you better go back to China, you nasty, nasty b***!” With the man just behind me, that’s when I pulled the classic thriller move: my hands were shaking so badly that I couldn’t get a grip on my keys to let myself into the building. Hearing the shouting, building security buzzed me in. We both went back outside to go after the guy, but by the time we got there, he was already gone. In my neighborhood, the description, “White homeless guy with matted hair” isn’t going to get me very far with law enforcement — especially if there is no bloodshed. Their only suggestion was for me to come down to the station (which is in an even sketchier area, and not the most sanitary place re: coronavirus) during stay-at-home isolation orders to file a police report. So that was that.