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[personal profile] catsittingstill
So a couple of days ago I was walking around campus catching Pokémon in the dark again. I don't walk around after dark all that much these days (just how my schedule works out; I'm one of the lucky few who has never been afraid of walking around at night) but when I do, Pokémon are usually involved in some way.
And I was down in the cafeteria / student activity center / campus security office corner where there are 4 Pokestops pretty close together when I heard what sounded like a scream. I stopped and looked up from my phone. Nothing. There were several Pokémon handy so I sidled in that direction while catching Pokémon. Presently I heard another shriek and what sounded like a slap.
Now I was concerned. It's hard for me to tell, from any distance, the difference between people shrieking because they are playing around and people who are actually in trouble. But this sounded like it might be trouble. So I walked in that direction.
There's a few small 2 story apartment buildings in the area and a little white house and a few other buildings, and I walked quietly down the cross street, listening. I heard another shriek from the house and saw a silhouette of someone near the blinds, whose shadow moved across the window and away as they moved quickly into the room.
I had time to think a lot of things. It might be a domestic violence incident. It might be students just playing around. Knocking on the door would be embarrassing. But what if someone was being beaten in there and I walked away and left them to it? Maybe I should call the police. But police bring guns, and guns can go wrong very quickly; if they're people of color, or speak a foreign language, that might not be safe for them, and what if I called the police on some kids who were just playing around and they ended up shooting someone?
It takes longer to lay it out here than it did to flip through it mentally, but I decided the only ethical course was to knock on the door myself. As an older white woman I have a bit more social license to be a meddler than I did when I was younger, so I'm unlikely to be physically attacked, and I'm not going to shoot anyone because I have no gun, so that just seemed safest all around. And if it looked like someone in there needed the police I could always call once I knew that.
I walked up to the door nerving myself up. The door had a window in it, also with blinds. I knocked on the door, beside the window.
A half-naked young white man (I could only see his chest; that is all I can speak to) lifted the blinds to see who was knocking, got an instant appalled look, and darted away, leaving the blinds swinging. A young white woman (clothed) seized the swinging blind and lifted it to look. I smiled at her in an embarrassed way and lifted both hands palm up in a "well, what could I do?" shrug, that had a bit of "explain this to me please" in it, I think, because she opened the door just enough to slip out and stand in front of it, screening what sounded like some hasty rummaging inside.
I said "I'm sorry, I thought I heard a scream. Is everyone alright in there?" I could hear voices inside, but couldn't make out the words, though the tone sounded more surprised and embarrassed than anything else.
The young woman said "Oh it's fine; a moth got in and my friend is scared to death of bugs" or something like that. She looked a bit embarrassed, but not frightened or angry. At this point the young man, now in a tee shirt, came back into my line of view, looking embarrassed but not like he was coming down from some angry fit.
I said "Okay, that's fine, as long as nobody is getting hurt." Several assurances everything was fine, and no sound of someone crying or being restrained, no sign of blood or bruises on the visible two so I apologized and walked away.
I guess part of watching is going to be being more of a meddlesome busybody with her nose in everyone's business but I can't think of any other way to help keep people safe in Trumpland. People don't generally die of embarrassment and I suppose I won't either.
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catsittingstill

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