Yesterday, my girlfriend and I were sitting on the couch in the front room. It was hot out, and we had the windows open. I was playing some video games, and she was playing with her laptop.
"What's up?" I heard, coming from outside.
I turned around and there was a somewhat dirty guy with dreadlocks on our porch, walking towards the door.
"What's up?" I said through the window.
He said "What's up" again and stood at the door for a moment. When he realized neither of us was going to get off the couch, he came to the window.
"What's up?" he said once more.
"What's up?" I asked.
"Hey, let me tell you about my situation. My car is broken down, and I'm here from out of town. I'm from north of here. I have my mom with me, she's from south of here. Now, my mom is a diabetic, and..."
"Sorry, man, I'm broke," I said, cutting him off.
"OK," he said, "I'm sorry for bothering you."
"Good luck," I told him as he walked off my porch.
When I'm out, I almost always give money to whoever asks me for some. I know a lot of those people are going to spend it on feeding a habit, but who am I to judge? Ideally, they should be getting help somewhere, but life isn't so ideal. If I can help somebody make it through the day, I'll do what I can, even if they give me a line of bullshit about their car being broken or out of gas (I can't count how many times I've heard that one). My contact with these people is enough that for a brief period, I even contracted a case of the dreaded bum disease.
I draw the line, however, at people coming to my home and asking for money. I don't need mysterious people showing up at my door asking for money, and I sure as hell don't need them coming back again because it worked before.
Later, at around 2:00 AM, we went to the 24-hour laundromat and dropped our clothes off. When we came back, there was some lady sitting on the little strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street directly in front of the house, right next to our driveway. We walked in through the side door, like we always do, and avoided having to walk past her. When we left to go back to the laundromat, she was gone.
I'm sure it was probably a coincidence, but two random weirdos in front of our place on the same day makes me kind of uneasy.
Maybe the dude with the dreadlocks heard the reggae coming out of the stereo and thought it was some kind of invitation to come beg for money. Maybe the lady sitting on the grass was taking a midnight stroll and just happened to stop in front of the house.
Or maybe the dude with the dreadlocks was scouting for places to rob for crack money, and when he saw the various gadgets and toys we had, he told the lady to hang out and see when we're home and when we're not. The rational part of my brain tells me that's it's kind of blatant and stupid, but the paranoid part tells me I should be on my toes. The paranoid part of my brain tells me that crack heads tend to be blatant and stupid, but the rational part of my brain tells me that it's difficult to even look out the window without seeing a cop drive by, which hopefully makes it unlikely that somebody is going to get away with stealing my stuff. I don't have a lot of faith in the police, but I think their heavy presence in my area, right next to a college, should make my home an unattractive target.
Crackheads, stay the fuck off of my porch. You make me paranoid.