12 hours ago
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
With this in mind, I decided to find myself some attractive outdoors for a little photo practice. I looked at a google map of my house and found the nearest bits of green which denote nature. About 30 minutes from my house is the Ward Pound Ridge park. It looked quite green on the google map.
Wait. Did you hear that?
That was clearly not a nature sound. That was very very very much a human sound. A male human sound. And, while it was just momentary, I heard crazy in that sound. And now that I've paused, I see another person. A male person. Most likely crazy. And only about 50 yards behind me.
I should pause now and say that bears, rabid deer, snakes, poisonous toads, none of these frightens me. Because they are part of nature and nature is good. Other people in nature, however, are, with practically zero exceptions dangerous crazy people of the I-am-coming-to-rape-and-dismember-you variety and should be avoided at all costs. And, as luck would have it, one was less than half a football field behind me.
I guess now would be as good a time as any to explain my particular brand of hubris. In pretty much any fight I give myself at least even odds. This is why I don't fear small (under 6 foot) sharks, black bears, pythons, and the religious right. I figure that in a showdown with any of them, I stand as good a chance, if not better, of being victorious. There is no basis for this in fact, but my thoughts are: if the shark is about my size, I'm sure I could inflict as much damage on him as he could on me. Devoted partner assures me this is ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE, but I think he's just being a worrywart. So, even though I only caught a glimpse of the crazy man in the woods on his way to chop off my body parts, I am completely positive that with a pointy stick at hand, I could incapacitate him prior to losing any limbs I really care about (I also spend no time wondering exactly how much blood a person could lose before she would be a less effective fighting machine - math is for people not as primed for a fight as I).
I can't decide, in retrospect, if hiking alone in an unfamiliar place is a horridly stupid idea, or if thinking that what essentially amounted to a solo walk on a marked trail in a state park is a stupid idea is an even stupider idea. The good news is that I found a pretty and large (4000 acres) green area nearby that I can explore further as the weather improves. And I can arm myself with the greatest weapon of them all: devoted partner.