If I am walking home after dark, and the shadow in the trees is a man who jumps out at me, I will at first startle, then smile and say, “Oh, you surprised me! Hello, my name is Gayle Randolph. I don’t think we’ve met. Are you going this way too?”
If when I walk by that parked truck, and a man lunges out from the dark shadow underneath to grab me by the leg, it will be too late, because I suspected he was there and I walked just far enough away. I’ll pretend I didn’t notice him, so he’ll be embarrassed and stay there.
If the man at the bus stop comes out of the shelter and tried to sell me drugs, I’ll looked at him blankly as if I’m already stoned, so I can get away with just walking by.
When I walk in the quiet woods, and suddenly a crow caws, and I see a quick movement in a tree of a cougar just pouncing, I will scream in an aggressive way, put my fingers out like claws, grab a stick, and will fight that cougar, even if it bites and scratches me.
If a dog gallops toward me across a lawn, and the electric fence is off, or it is so wild that it does not care, I will yell, “Go home!”
If I go into the convenience store to buy milk, and this time there is a man with a gun who points it at Jeff the clerk and me, and screams for cash, I will calmly say to Jeff, “Give him the cash, Jeff. It will not make him happy. Thief, you are very sad inside. If you want some help, call or leave a note. You need something better than what money can buy.”
If I get a ride with someone, and they turn out to be a rapist, I would throw up all over the car seat, and if possible, pee my pants, as soon as possible before he drove out of town. It would be embarrassing, but also gross enough for him to dump me out of the car.
If I came home and there was an intruder hiding inside who appeared when I was not by a door, I would act like I was expecting a relative of my husband’s and say, “Oh, you’re early–you must be Dan. I’ll show you where your room is. My husband will be home in about ten minutes. I’ll make you a sandwich.”