I'm walking home from the train station, maybe 6:40 AM. I see a truck coming down the street towards me, slowing down, as if to turn into the driveway I'm walking across, so I walk faster to get out of the way. The truck stops and the guys say something, so I stop and look at them, but they're not looking at me, so they must be talking amongst themselves. There are three of them and one gets out. These are black guys, but a bunch of mexican laborers in a truck isn't uncommon around here, so I don't think much of it. I'm walking again by now, and the guy who got out of the truck scurries across the street saying something I don't understand. I'm expecting him to ask me for my bus pass or something like that. He gets to me and I see that he's carrying a rifle. It looks fake, like a bogus antique meant to hang decoratively over a fireplace.
He says, "Give me your money." When it registers, I think I should pay attention so I can give a good description to the police. I look over and the driver across the street has a bandanna over the lower half of his face. The young man in front of me is barefaced.
I say, "I don't have any money."
He says, "Then give me your bag." I think getting a new driver's license is a huge hassle.
I say, "Shoot me."
He says, "What?"
"Shoot me, or go away."
"Shoot you?!" He starts to raise the gun, but he looks embarrassed. What's he gonna do with the fake gun? It occurs to me he might use it as a club; maybe I should offer to show him I don't have anything of value.
The guys in the truck start hollering for him to come on and I see the 6:47 506 bus coming towards us behind the truck. The would-be armed robber runs back across the street and they all drive off. I can't see the license plate.
I go home and call 911. About 45 minutes later I get a call-back asking if the men are still around threatening me, which boggles. Actually, it makes me mad. Something is seriously wrong with 911. Another hour and the cop comes to take my statement. She says guys matching my description have snatched a few other women's purses in the area. She looks like my Aunt Lea and doesn't give me the expected, patronizing advice about sassing the Keystone crooks.