yesterday's unsettling incidents

San Jose, California
March 2, 2018 11:45am CST
(I kept trying to post this yesterday, but it never went through. I don't know why.) Either my neighborhood is seriously changing, or I just happened to have a strange day yesterday. Admittedly I haven't used our light rail system for a while, but I don't remember these being standard things that happened before. 1. While purchasing my transit pass at the machine, a guy with a sleeping bag around his shoulders asked me a question. I didn't hear what he asked, assumed he was asking for change or something like that, and asked him to repeat what he said a few times until I understood him. He didn't want change. He wanted to know if I had any meth. I didn't (of course) and sputtered apologetically, flustered and surprised by the whole situation. for several minutes afterward I wondered if I had still misheard or if he was pranking me, but I don't think so. 2. Halfway to my destination, I looked up and realized a large man wearing a ski mask over his face had just entered the car. He was looking all around and saying "Hi, how ya doing!" loudly to everyone who made eye contact with him. I was caught off guard and got scared. Why was he wearing a ski mask on the train? It wasn't even cold outside! Was he hiding his face because he was about to do something? Were we all about to become victims? Was I overreacting? Was I not reacting enough? I panicked, got off at the next stop, and called the other half to come and get me while crying on the rail platform. I felt stupid for reacting the way I did, but I was honestly scared. I don't know if I overreacted or was smart to handle it how I did. I just know that I didn't feel safe in my own neighborhood yesterday. Photo is a screenshot of my phone after an app crashed. The wording just seemed appropriate.
15 people like this
11 responses
@TheSojourner (17448)
• United States
2 Mar
I am surprised they even let him on the train with the ski mask. If I were in charge I would have made him take it off. That would have spooked me, as well!
3 people like this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
There's usually no conductor in the light rail cars, just a driver in the first car. Occasionally at random stops, a rail system security agent might board the car to check everyone's tickets, but usually it's just the passengers.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Mar
@spiderdust what I would do is talk to the people that run the program, and see about getting that as a rule. You can't go near a bank with a ski mask on or even a hat and sunglasses. So, this shouldn't be any kind of new idea for them.
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
@CoralLevang Yeah, my bank has a sign on the door asking people to remove their hats and sunglasses upon entering the building.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (13279)
• United States
2 Mar
"Way back when," as we say, people used to blame errant behavior on the full moon.
3 people like this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
I guess we did just have a full moon.
3 people like this
• Ponce De Leon, Florida
2 Mar
I'm so glad I don't rely on public transportation anymore. When I lived in Oregon, I used lightrail to get to work everyday. And one day while waiting to leave the stop- a guys climbed on the mostly empty train, it was about five am, and then dropped his pants and peed all over.
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
I've run into weird people on public transit before, but this was the first time that I was actually really scared.
• Ponce De Leon, Florida
2 Mar
@spiderdust I'm glad you are okay. Did you have any of the kiddos with you?
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
@thislittlepennyearns Not then. I probably would have been more frightened if they were with me.
@ridingbet (49680)
• Philippines
3 Mar
it is just right for you to react that way, in my opinion. hearing all these violence in any part of the world makes us to be more careful with whoever we come in contact with.
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
3 Mar
There have just been too many shootings lately, and that was one of the first things I thought of when I saw the mask on his face.
1 person likes this
@ridingbet (49680)
• Philippines
4 Mar
@spiderdust it is better and best to be on the safe side than to be sorry.
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
4 Mar
@ridingbet Exactly. Better to be alive and embarrassed than a victim who was too polite.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (76104)
• United States
3 Mar
I certainly would have been more concerned about the man in the ski mask, especially these days!
1 person likes this
@DianneN (76104)
• United States
4 Mar
@spiderdust That is saying a lot. At least the guy in the ski mask was jovial!
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
4 Mar
@DianneN Yeah, although there was a meanness about it It's hard to explain. It's as if he enjoyed making people uncomfortable.
1 person likes this
@akalinus (14997)
• United States
2 Mar
I don't blame you for being cautious. It is a scary world today. People do all sorts of crazy things and you never know what someone is thinking. Trust your gut, if something seems suspicious, it probably is.
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
That's what I kept trying to tell myself, even when I felt like I was overreacting. I checked the news several times last night to see if there was an incident on the light rail or near one if the stations, but nothing was reported. Maybe he was just cold. But maybe not.
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
@akalinus Exactly. I'd rather just be embarrassed than a victim who didn't want to be rude.
@amadeo (63821)
• United States
2 Mar
Oh!my this is not good.A bit of anxiety there?
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
I was afraid I was going to have a full on public panic attack, which would have been bad. I'm still not sure if I was in a dangerous situation or overreacting, but getting off the train and asking for someone to come get me seemed to be the right thing to do.
@amadeo (63821)
• United States
2 Mar
@spiderdust whatever you felt like you had to do there.
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
@amadeo Exactly. Either way, I was safe.
@Courtlynn (64271)
• United States
3 Mar
You didn't overreact at all. I think almost everyone would react that way
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
3 Mar
It was a pretty scary situation for me.
1 person likes this
@Courtlynn (64271)
• United States
3 Mar
@spiderdust oh im sure!
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (25381)
• United States
3 Mar
The guy in the ski mask would have frightened me too
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
3 Mar
He had to have known that people were uncomfortable.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (25381)
• United States
3 Mar
@spiderdust you would think.
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (14371)
• Japan
2 Mar
Calm has stopped. So apt.
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
Isn't it though? I was anything but calm yesterday afternoon.
@MALUSE (39104)
• Germany
2 Mar
You don't have to watch horror films methinks.
1 person likes this
• San Jose, California
2 Mar
It still feels very surreal. I think if I were listening to someone else tell the story, I'd suspect they were embellishing on the details, but it really happened.