Before you start reading this blog, please know that it is not my intention to be snarky and judgmental.
With that stated let me say that I had an “Only in Baltimore” moment last night. I stopped by the Target store at Mondawmin Mall last night. It’s my favorite Target. It’s in great shape. It provides a great service to the community in that it provides jobs and opportunity to a neighborhood that could really use the solid economic shot in the arm(hint-this is foreshadowing). I think what makes me enjoy this store so much is that its’ clientele is truly a melting pot. Target’s business model is great at catering to people up and down the socio-economic ladder. It’s location allows it to be one of the most diverse retail spots in Baltimore City. It draws shoppers from Johns Hopkins University and Charles Village; the neighborhood of Ashburton, Lower Liberty and Park Heights, The Baltimore Zoo and so on. Even more heartening is the fact that there is an employee that is clearly transgendered. In my workplace, I’m the Diversity Ambassador so suffice it to say I’m happy to see all the colors of our human rainbow being accepted. Oh heck, as long as I’m suckling at the Target teat, let’s throw a graphic in here.
Okay, now here is the “only in Baltimore” scenario. As I was paying for my goods, I noticed, to my right, what appeared to be a woman leaning forward over a shopping cart. At first it seemed that she had paid for her stuff and then just got very tired. A split second later I recognized this for what it was. A full on heroin nod. The next thing that bounced through my mind was that I had to be mistaken. I mean, really. When you see it on the street, it has context. It makes sense. Like this guy.
In the middle of a shiny, pretty store full of families buying the things that families need was this poor woman and she was definitely nodding out. She even perpetrated one of those little “hitches” that junkies do. You look at them, you figure that they are settled and then they experience a seismic, gravity-defying shift…and then hold in that impossible position.
I asked the checkout associate if she was seeing what I was seeing and she said, in a sad and tired tone, “She’s been here all day.” What a shame. There is always a Baltimore Police Officer stationed at the front of the store and I realized that he kind of had an eye on her. What do you do? Wait for her to fall out? I wonder what the protocol is in that situation. It was all just interesting and sad.
Well, I had to be a little snarky. Randy Newman was right; “Baltimore, sometimes it’s just hard to live”.