An Incident According to Alessandro...

Alessandro called me at work one morning and excitedly told me about an incident he had where "I was almost murdered just now."  When he was finished telling me, I asked him to write it down so I could share it here.  You can thank me later.  Here's his story:

We often forget we live our lives among wild animals, but we do, and they are dangerous.  I recently had an encounter with one of these dangerous wild animals.  I did not appreciate it.  

While walking to my car one brisk morning, I came face to face with the wild beast that is the squirrel.  

Like many of you, I see squirrels almost daily.  Most days they keep to themselves and peacefully coexist with us.  Today was not one of those days.   As I walked on the path towards my car I was faced with a squirrel with a menacing look on his face.  He was stopped directly in front of me and was not frightened by me in the least.  We both came to a standstill and locked eyes.  Mine were saying, “Please move along little squirrel,” and his were saying, “Over my dead body you’re getting down this path.”  I remained still, but he didn’t.  

This squirrel was asking for trouble.  He slowly started approaching.  This is when I realized that he was from out of town.  He wasn’t the typical black city squirrel; he was a larger brown squirrel from the suburbs.  At this point, I panicked.  My limited mobility doesn’t allow me to run away screaming.  I had to face this squirrel head on.  Usually squirrels are frightened by some sudden movement, so I took my walker and banged it on the ground a couple times.  This didn’t faze him.  He continued to approach me, and at this point he was probably three feet away from me and closing in.  This is easily the closest I had ever been to these vile creatures.  Luckily, I had a bag with me which I started wildly swinging around, all while I was gripping my walker for balance.  

The squirrel finally retreated some, enough so that I could continue down the path towards my car.  He didn’t run far though.  He remained on the grass nearby and our eyes never left each other as I passed him by.  I didn’t take my eyes off of him as I approached my car.  He slowly had followed me and maintained eye contact as well.  I watched him through my car window as I approached the car door.  He was still close and still interested.  As I threw my bag in the car, I lost sight of him and knew I had to move fast as he was probably lurking underneath the car near my feet.  I folded my walker, banged it on the car a few times in hopes to scare him off, and got into my car.  I had luckily made it without incident, but my heart was beating fast.  

I didn’t know where he was, but I was hoping to hear him crunched under my car as I drove away.  That was the only way I knew I would be safe.  But, he got away.  I could breathe easy for the moment, but I feared he would be waiting for me when I returned.  I made it home without incident, but feared my next encounter with that squirrel.  I didn’t know what the following morning would hold for me, but I was hoping I could walk to my car without being harassed.  

But the next morning, there were actually four squirrels hanging around the path to my car, three small black ones, and one brown one.  The black ones were running around obliviously.  The brown one though, was just sitting.  I tried not to make eye contact with him and just hoped he would leave me alone.  He did that day, but I know it was him and I know he didn’t forget our encounter the day before.  

Author’s Note:  In no way do I condone the murdering of animals, unless they plan on murdering you.              


A Short Love Note to the D

I took these pictures on Thursday morning as soon as I woke up and saw this view from my bedroom window.  What a special day that ended up being.    

Sometimes I'm taken over by the overwhelming love I have for this City.  When I walk to work, ride my bike through the neighborhoods, gaze out the windows, and mingle with fellow townspeople, it helps me to revel in the good here.  Of course, I also recognize the bad, but mostly I am excited for what is to come.  

I read this quote recently about the City that rang true to me:  “The people who live here usually have something going on...They’re artistic, they’re handy, they’re self-starters. People who are finicky don’t come to Detroit. There’s a filter at work here.  You’ve got to have self-sufficiency.” George Royce

Finicky.  That's exactly the right word.  

I was recently asked if I was ever embarrassed of my City.  Embarrassed?  Never.  Disappointed?  Sometimes. Proud?  Always.