Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Charlotte, NC

Of course, found your blog and am now compelled to contribute... Here is my story:

Charlotte, North Carolina, 6:22pm, rush-hour traffic and I am sitting at a stoplight on the corner of Elm and Hwy 51 in the affluent South Charlotte. She was three cars ahead of me talking threw the window of a white lexis that slowly starts to move off and drive away. I am now two cars away and I move into the second position and waited for the light to turn. She looks past the car on the corner and straight at me from 20 feet away. Without breaking eye contact she approached my car and started talking through my passenger window. "You have to help me, I'm just an abused woman trying to get to my battered women's shelter." I groaned internally and looked at the clock, I was already late getting home, and not in the habit of picking up hitch hikers. "So what do you actually need?" I asked, knowing already, because she just told me. "I need a ride sir, please... to Randolph and Billingsley... Please?" It was more or less my part of town. The light was now green and the cars behind me were showing signs of being annoyed. "OK I said, let's go." She jumped in as the cars behind us, seeing what was happening started driving around me to get on with their commute.

We merged into traffic as I reviewed the strange turn of events that brought me to the stunning realization that I was now driving down the road with someone I did not know, her suit case resting in my backseat and she, now rolling up the window she was just moments ago talking through.

"It's pretty brave of you to jump into a car with someone you don't know." I said. "Sir, after what I've been through with the evil men who have perpetrated their abuse on me over the years you couldn't possibly do anything worse to me." It made since and I accepted her response, she had nothing to lose. "Are you from here, from Charlotte?" "No, I'm from California, by way of Miami." she said and then her story began. For the remainder of the 20-minute ride to Randolph Rd and Billingsley she proceeded to explain (In a not so easy to follow manner) her ordeal. We hit every red light on the way, and even though her story was fairly detailed I understood none of it. Black Nation Church, black police officers, racism that she experienced by both white and black folks.

I started to realize that she was not the victim, or at least wasn't an immediate victim of a recent physical or sexual abuse and that her story was much older than the recent history I had assigned to it all in my mind. Some highlights from our 25 minutes together:

- Black ministers and police officers involved with prostitution ring but that she herself was not a victim of sexual abuse but of identity theft (Although earlier in the conversation I could have sworn she said she suffered physical and sexual abuse).

- She was making her way back to Davis, California because it was getting cooler (here on the east coast) and that she can move faster or better when she's in warm weather - and that there were a lot of "survivors" in Davis and that she was sure she could drum up some support in Davis, CA.

- She wanted to get out the country and fight them from outside, preferably San Juan, Puerto Rico, but for now Davis, California would have to do.

- She wanted a plane ticket to Davis, California but is considering a train because the greyhound bus is too crazy and crowded

- She has a brother named Mike, a twin

- "The abuse started at year 42"

- Today is her birthday - She showed me a photocopy of an old drivers license to prove it, (as if I didn't believe her) the date was indeed the 28th of September.

- she provided me with a UPS Store receipt (for $4.95 for photo copies) as proof "to them that I was her transport for the day"

- From what I understood there is a man, a black police officer/minister, who is claiming they are married, but they are apparently not and that somehow, he has something to do with the long string of identify theft/abuse/robbing of money.

- She has apparently lost into the millions of dollars since the day the abuse began

- She said she didn't have enough copies of her manifesto to give me a copy, but was willing to let me read it if I wanted to. I declined, but wish now that I had read it.

While we were together she asked if she could call a friend, I let her use my phone and she called Ontario, Canada and talked to someone for about 2 minutes. This person, based on her conversation with them, was clearly aware of her situation. I redialed the number after I dropped her off and talked to a guy name Dave, who thanked me for helping her with the ride and that she was probably very grateful for it. He indicated that she calls him a few times a year to check in and that she was a "survivor" and she's be fine. He indicated she was ill and that she was a good person and that I should look up her name online, which brought me here, to this site.

All in all she was very polite and kind and by far the highlight of my day. Tonight she's in Charlotte but look out Davis, California, she's heading your way.