Rose is a short woman, with sandy blonde hair, who is slightly overweight and perhaps forty. She has a small mouth and a cute smile that pops up with most any statement, and then usually dies on her lips.
“I moved out of San Francisco, which I loved, because I could no longer afford to live there after the breakup. You need two incomes out there. My father lives in North Carolina, which was nice, rural. I couldn’t find work. So here I am, living with my son and working for a temp agency.”
[shakes head, sniffles, as she looks at her blue two-door sedan, a 2010 Toyota, I think]
“I’ve been here for three months—moved in just in time!”
[This last was said with some bitterness.]
“These three boys—teenagers, black—just took my purse. No fuss even, just did it, didn’t run, hide, nothing! My phone was in the purse. I stood there and cried—in the middle of the parking lot. I did have my keys, still had my car.
“Welcome to Baltimore!
“Then, last month, this lady, a black lady, called me a white bitch and cussed me, just for walking past her coming out of the Dollar Tree. I kept going.
“Last week—look at this!”
[shakes head and sniffles, indicating driver’s side of car]
I pulled into the parking lot where my son works and these [black] boys were walking buy. After what happened I was afraid. I looked at them as I parked and this one looked me in the eyes and scowled. I stayed in the car. He walked up to my side of the car and I heard this scraping as he walked past me, and then saw his hand when he dragged the knife across the front fender. He scowled at me—a real mean look—over his shoulder while he put the knife in his pocket. I was terrified!
“It was one of those folding knives—no color—steel color.
“When my son got off work he said not to bother calling the cops—that nothing would happen. Look at my car. It is down to the metal—into the metal. That could have been me. I hate Baltimore!”
Damaging a vehicle—usually seemingly by accident—is often a ploy to lure people—especially women—out of their vehicle so that they may either be robbed or carjacked. This incident seems to have been purely terroristic. Rose, by the way, does not live in Baltimore City, but in the county, although to her, it is quite Baltimore enough.