I was out last night and had one of those experiences where you think: “Ohhhh, this is why I shouldn’t traipse around places at night by myself without a whistle or gun or something.”
I was just walking and these four kids with their hats the the back and their baggy pants and swagger and teardrop tattoos and graffiti they were spraying on rocks came walking towards me. I’m pretty athletic, so I thought I could take them in a pinch. But I also thought: “This is why I came on a hike tonight. I did not come to the top of Mount Hollywood to run into people, much less thuggy people. There is a pretty sheer drop off, if they wanted to, I could never be found again.”
Then I thought…wait, why are these kids on a hike? And I imagined their conversation having gone something like this…
KID 1: Yo, what’re we gon’ do today?
KID2: I don’t know dude, tag that liquor store?
KID3: Sell some fake IDs?
KID4: Uhh, maybe visit some endangered species in their natural habitats and see if there’s anything the collective can do to make the environment a little better for everyone?
KID1: Yo! Who said that? That shit about nature. Special K, was that you?
KID4: Whatever, man.
KID1: Cuz I like the way you think. I just got a new Nalgene bottle and needed a place to use it!
KID2: Dude! Did you got to REI? Man you shoulda brought me, I got a Groupon for that shit!
And then I laughed. Out loud. While I was walking by myself. And wondered that in that moment, with me throwing my head back and grinning at no one, which one of us a third party would rather avoid. I kinda think it’s a tie.