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field guide to the urban junkie - when you don't know what to do... — LiveJournal
do the next thing
field guide to the urban junkie
I saw my first heroin addict tonight. I didn't have to go to work tonight (apparently the building caught fire that houses the servers on which my company bases i's business), so at 3am I drove around the corner to the Store 24 for soda (we were out). As I rounded the corner, I saw this couple on the sidewalk, and the woman was staggering big time. I thought she was drunk at first. So I drove into the lot and went into the store. I got some cash out of the machine (that's where I was standing when she came in), and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. It's creepy being in there most of the time anyway, but she really set my nerves to jangling.

So I got my cash, and as I walked down the aisle to get my soda, she said (I think to me), "Hi! What's your name?" I ignored her -- I find that it's best not to engage chemically impaired people I don't know in conversation. I dawdled at the back of the store in hopes that she'd leave before I came to the front, but no dice. I guess she ordered a hot dog; in this store the cashiers get it out of the warmer for you. Probably cuts down on pilferage. She was leaning on the counter, and her legs were all wobbly and her head was lolling around on her neck. There were scars from healed sores or something all over her hands and face... let's just say if she collapsed and needed breathing support, I wasn't going to be the one to do it, not without a shield. Ick.

I asked the cashier if he wanted me to wait to go until she left. I didn't like the looks of the guy waiting for her out in the parking lot; I didn't know why he was out there in the dark and cold, hanging around. The cashier's a good guy, though -- one of the stand-up guys in the neighborhood -- and he said he was good, so I left.

It was creepy. I've never seen someone strung out like that before. I hope I never do again. I'm just glad it was who it was -- a skinny, scrawny chick -- because I could have subdued her in no time, if necessary.

It's weird when you assess the other patrons of a convenience store as threats... but part of my life, I guess.

i feel: thoughtful thoughtful

12 trips or shoot the rapids
perspicuity From: perspicuity Date: November 18th, 2003 04:58 am (UTC) (base camp)
wow, what a weird scenario...

one wonders about how some of that stuff coulda played out. you might have taken her, but what about the weird guy outside?

one of those things were a quick call to the non-emergency cop # is a handy deal regardless.

time to start carrying a morningstar :>
tashabear From: tashabear Date: November 18th, 2003 05:18 am (UTC) (base camp)
I carry a flexible asp, actually. More concealable than a morning star.
perspicuity From: perspicuity Date: November 18th, 2003 05:27 am (UTC) (base camp)
isn't that a tad illegal? :) *especially* in massachusetts?

supposedly even carrying a kuboton is illegal (usually on a keychain). however, you know what ISN'T illegal to carry, and damn useful to boot? a 2AA size maglight on your keychain. it's a flashlight. useful. also, basically solid metal :) makes a great flail/morningstar if you have enough keys.

personally, i'd prefer a maglight converted to LED or a purpose made LED metal one. i never leave home without mine.

in the kuboton arena, we have this: (1st and 3rd items):
it's pretty spiffy in it's way. well, very spiffy, if you have $400 laying about doing "nothing":

tashabear From: tashabear Date: November 18th, 2003 05:41 am (UTC) (base camp)
Well, we bought them both in Mass, and got the kubaton that I also carry from my karate instructor, so... I dunno. Guess we'll find out if I ever need anything more than fist, elbows, and the pavement.

Likin' the training karambits, yesssss, my preciousss.... I'd hurt myself with a bladed one, though.
perspicuity From: perspicuity Date: November 18th, 2003 05:51 am (UTC) (base camp)
kobotan are supposedly legal everywhere, according to this massachusetts based training place:
color me HIGHLY surprised. maybe i'll start carrying mine again.

i do like both trainers. a lot :) plus, that fixed blade. *shiver* :)

also see: http://www.emersonknives.com/Tact_index.html

the sensei at my kickboxing place has been messing around with a plastic trainer on the sly. nobody who didn't know what it was would have noticed at all.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: November 18th, 2003 06:27 am (UTC) (base camp)
Mmm... shiny... pretty... yummy knifies.

I did have to turn in my kubaton to the security guard at Planned Parenthood in Worcester... once I told him what it was.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: November 18th, 2003 06:28 am (UTC) (base camp)
Thing is, unlike nunchaku, kubatons aren't really a threat without training. Any schmuck can use a flail like nunchaku and inflict serious damage to others without really hurting themselves, but you have to know what you're doing to use a kubaton effectively.
skorzy From: skorzy Date: November 18th, 2003 08:02 am (UTC) (base camp)
Yes, they are illegal. Any concealable baton like that requires a license to carry. In fact, its illegal to conceal a knife with a blade length longer than 4 inches (My Benchmade AFCK has a 3.9" blade. :) The law does specifically mention truncheons and law enforcement saps.

One thing I learned during my handgun safety class (required to have a concealed permit in Worcester) is that if something is sold in the state, doesn't mean its legal to *carry* here. That surprised me!

Of course, that doesn't stop alot of people, and I don't believe laws should come in the way of one's sense of personal safety. Honestly, unarmed martial prowess is going to be your best defense.

And.. I used to work at a Seven Eleven while in college, and I *hated* the graveyard shift for that reason. In California, you can't sell alcohol past 2AM, so we had to lock those coolers up at that time. The number of *violent* drunks demanding I sell them beer at 2:30AM was frightening enough that *I* kept a collapsible truncheon under the counter. ;)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: November 18th, 2003 09:03 am (UTC) (base camp)
Eh, I'm not terribly worried about it. I'd probably forget about it anyway. I'm not sure I'd be using the kubaton with any degree of precision, either; my best bet at using keys as a weapon is to get a lanyard that I can swing them on. My bunch of keys is heavy enough that I could break a nose with a good swinging shot. I'm not much of a precision fighter anyway; I'm more of a "break the limbs off and fell the trunk" sort of fighter.

This store doesn't serve beer, thank god, but I desperately wanted to call the cops to have the girl picked up. She creeped me out, and while I think that her companion was there to keep her from stumbling into the street, I don't think she should have been out at all. She really belonged in a locked ward.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2004 06:52 pm (UTC) (base camp)
HI just surfin and found this site please what is a morning star??
tashabear From: tashabear Date: January 24th, 2004 07:16 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Big spiky ball on a chain attached to a stick.
was1 From: was1 Date: November 18th, 2003 07:46 am (UTC) (base camp)
That's pretty freaky. I feel sorry for the cashier who has to work there.
12 trips or shoot the rapids