So, my sister asked me to keep her company driving up to Santa Fe for a flute lesson. To elaborate a bit, my little sister is a serious professional flutist who plays for opera companies and symphony orchestras on a regular basis, so she doesn’t have a lot of flute-teacher options around here other than her university adviser for her master’s degree (the principal flute for the NMSO). She winds up jumping at anyopportunity to have lessons with this one awesome world-class flute teacher in Santa Fe. The man lives more than an hour away from where we live, and he recently moved from a house just off the plaza (which is more or less Santa Fe’s central hub) and into a house in the middle of nowhere just outside the city limits. There really isn’t much of anything out there. There’s a lot of dirt, most of the roads are unpaved, and there are cacti, rabbits, and quails within rock-throwing distance of anywhere a person might be standing at any given time. I suppose it’s sort of pretty in its middle-of-nowhere New Mexico way, but it’s not where I might choose to live.
So, anyway, my sister went in for her lesson, and I decided to go on a sort of hike around the “neighborhood.” The weather was awesome: cool, but not so cool I needed a jacket. I followed dirt roads, mostly, and Alameda, which is a major road that is actually paved like roads anywhere else, and everywhere I walked, cars passed me. The roads were quite surprisingly busy for such a remote-seeming place at 11:00 on a Saturday. At about half-past, I started walking back. I passed another couple people walking on the roads in the opposite direction, and I didn’t pay a lot of attention to them until I made it to the junction of Alameda and the dirt road the flute teacher lives on, which is when I heard one of them tearing down the hill. I figured he must have dropped something when he was walking up, so I kept on my merry way, but then I heard/sensed him behind me, turned, and in one fluid motion deflected one of his hands down and the other up. He appeared to be reaching for the back pocket of my jeans that didn’t have anything in it, so I sort of wonder if he was trying to grope me or something. The world may never know, because he sprinted like a rabbit into the brush past a cactus and out of sight. I never felt threatened. I have many years of martial arts training under my (black) belt, and this guy was a total amature at whatever the heck he was trying to pull. There wasn’t exactly a crowd of people making noise to cover up the sound of his shoes on the pavement, it was broad daylight, and anyone with eyes can probably see at first glance that I am far from helpless (I am tall, I’m built like an athlete, and I walk with a purpose and with what my acting professor defined as a “military posture”).
This story came up over lunch with my sister, who insisted that I am an idiot for carrying my keys in my back pocket where people can see them, and this story came up again after dinner when my sister decided to share it with my mom. Mom thinks I should have called the police and given them a description, but as far as I can tell the guy didn’t actually *do* anything illegal, and I don’t carry a cell phone in any case. Mom also thinks I should have broken the guy’s nose, but I don’t think that would have been called for in that he seemed quite intimidated enough by my having calmly blocked him. What do you think? If he sprints at a girl’s back pockets again at a later date, and she can’t easily prevent whatever he’s trying to do like I did, is it my fault for not having reported him? And how would you report an attempted and failed… something not clearly defined? I’m open to suggestions, on the very unlikely off-chance it happens again. What a weird day!