Or probably. Here’s the story:
Today as I was trying to capture this weird ol’ tree branch, I heard shouting in the distance. It was clearly a very agitated man–men? I couldn’t tell, but the voice(s?) were getting louder. I looked up and saw a man several hundred feet away, on the other side of a big, grassy park walking in my general direction. I kept looking for another guy, a source for the second voice, a source of the anger. It sounded like maybe someone had just been kicked out of someone else’s backyard? Why else would there be shouting but only one lone figure cutting across the field? I tried to be discreet in my staring but I was the only person around and he was facing me so that was really successful. And I couldn’t hear well, only something about You have office hours every day! And then, we passed each other. Now my back was to him and his shouting had become much louder. No, not louder. Closer. And boy was he angry. I picked up the pace a tad, beginning to feel slightly concerned that my curious gazing had further pissed him off, when I heard him shouting again behind me, “I WANT YOU TO DIE AND I GET WHAT I WANT.” 😳He HAD seen me! And he was following me because he was going to kill me! Or wait–is that what he meant? Why didn’t he just say that he wanted me dead? Or killed or murdered? Why phrase it “to die”? Really an odd semantic choice for someone murderously angry. Oh, or maybe he’s not in a murderous rage. Maybe he just wants me to die…eventually? In my sleep of old age? Wait, is he even talking to me? I’ll never know because my smarter self kicked in and said, girl, you better get to stepping because if that man reaches you, you do not even stand a chance. I walked with as rapid a nonchalance as I could muster–passing up a little alley that looked perfect for a murder–before finally reaching my car. I dared one last look behind me. The street was clear. There was no shouting to be heard. I paused briefly, debating whether to circle back to the park in my car, before finally just driving away. What would you have done? And was he really going to murder me? (Or maybe he just wants to receive my obituary in the mail someday?)
The thing about this is that really was the dialogue in my head. I was concerned with what he meant rather than the potential danger he posed. I *think* it’s just how my anxiety-ridden brain works, so how do I make it more interested in preserving my life?