crime, humor, interesting, society

Naive Realism: A Theory of Perception

The crime rates in Indianapolis have recently soared, and the murder rate in 2013 exceeded the murder rate of the city of Chicago.

I make it a point not to watch the news, because I cant bear to hear about one more rape, break in, or murder. I guess I would rather live my life to the fullest, not knowing what nonsense may or may not happen to me. If its my time, its my time. Odds are, there is nothing I can do to prevent it anyway, so Id rather not stress myself out.

This morning however, because I was anxious to hear about possible warm weather, I tuned into a local news channel. I wasnt really focused on the news per say, but I could hear it in my background. My attention was grabbed though, when I heard that a teenage boy was being prosecuted for raping a 93 year old woman! It just made me ill, and I immediately turned the television off. At the time, I really didnt think I had absorbed the information, because I continued on with my day…without a care in the world….

The sun shone brightly through my living room window, and for the first time in a long time, I felt ready to start this day. I motivated myself early, making my way to the gym, as soon as I dropped my kids off at school. I was planning to meet a friend, and though we didnt have plans of yet, I knew we would make some.

We felt great after our workout, and decided to go next door to celebrate with a little coffee. Finally, it was warm enough to sit outside, and my body absorbed the Vitamin D happily. We sat out there for some time, laughing and catching up, not once thinking or worrying that we would be acosted by some thug at any moment.

At one point, we began talking about recent crimes in our city, and it became apparent to me that I have been absorbing the information I am hearing, but I have just chosen to place it in the back of my mind. I told her about the news I had heard this morning, and she shared some of her own knowledge on the subject. This stimulated me to remember a conversation that I recently had with Renee, about this new game that “thugs” are playing called “knock out”!

Knock out is a game that has been played frequently in our close, neighboring city of Chicago. Apparently the thug waits quietly outside the door of a convenient store or gas station, until their intended target innocently comes out the door, only to be punched in the side of the head by their attacker. The goal, of coarse, is to knock the victim out in one punch! While I can completely picture a large group of unkempt, underwear showing boys, high fiving their asinine behavior, I find it interesting that their targets are often poor old women, or weak little beings. It kind of takes the toughness out of it, in my personal opinion.

After telling my friend about the new game arriving in our own city, we talked about how ridiculous it was, what we would do in this situation, and how more elderly people should defend themselves better! After this, I didnt think about it again….Until I did….

I loaded my son in the car to take him to choir practice. It was still warm, so I opened the sun roof and turned up the radio…John Cougar Mellencamp strummed his guitar loudly overhead, and we barely spoke a word.

I noticed that my gas gauge was very low, but we were running late as usual. He said I should stop at the gas station. He was not worried about being late, but more worried about having to push the car, because he is still too young to steer. I told him not to worry, because the yellow light wasnt even on yet. Of course, this was a dumb decision, because I was just getting ready to get on the highway at rushour. The light turned on, as soon as we got on the highway…

Luckily, nothing stopped us on the highway, but I decided not to push it, and stopped to get gas, at the first station available. Unfortunately, this happened to be an inner city gas station, that didnt appear to be in the best area of town. Not thinking twice, I got out of the car.

As soon as I started pumping the gas, I became increasingly aware of my surrounding. Bass boomed loudly through opened windows. A line was formed at every tank, and eyes were glaring into me, telling me that they were annoyed….I gulped and knew I was taking too long. Four or five people became restless, and got out of the seemingly popular, UNMARKED/SRIPPED used police cars that were prevalent here. Groups were forming, and people seemed to know each other here….Half of them had underwear hanging out of the back of their jeans and/or a gold “grill” lining their teeth.

I wont lie when I say, I began to worry. I recalled our previous conversation about the “Knock out gang”, and wondered if any of them were here. I was trying to remember my safetly techniques, and I began to look back and forth at my surroundings, so that I would become completely aware if someone approached me, with a fist heading toward my temple.

Suddenly I becamed overwhelmed. Voices became muted, all laughter seemed directed towards me, and I was certain I was in trouble. I looked back at the gas tank, and it was only half full. I panicked, as triads of people walked behind my car, increasing my fight or flight response. I was ready to fight, though I knew I stood no chance. Then it happened…

“POP”

I jumped, certain it was me that had been hit. When I opened my eyes to see I was safe, I realized that it was only the gas pump, telling me it was done. I got in the car and left unharmed…this time…

I think I will stop watching the news again….

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8 thoughts on “Naive Realism: A Theory of Perception

  1. Shit, it outrageous that you all would have more murders than Chicago! That says it all. Be safe, my friend. We are fortunate to live in what is probably the safest city in the country.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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