That Time My Life Was Threatened

A few weekends ago, I finally got to catch up with one of my dearest friends, after not having seen, or really spoken to her, in a year and a half.

After catching up for several hours over lunch at Union Station, we headed to Chinatown to take some pictures. You see, Spiff became my roommate Spring semester of my junior year of college when Hills up and left me to go to Prague. Anyways, within the first week of rooming together Spiffy and I quickly learned that we both share a love for photography. We did a photoshoot together our first weekend together around our college’s campus, and have continued to do one every year since. It has become our little yearly tradition.

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Spiff was my tour guide through Chinatown, a unique part of DC that I wasn’t very familiar with. We were taking pictures of this gorgeous stone church from the 1800’s, when we met her. 

An African American woman in her early sixties maybe, with no teeth, and well bundled approached me first asking for money. She was still speaking when Spiff came over and kindly told her that we were sorry, but had nothing to offer.

Spiff and I began walking away at this point.

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This ticked her off. This lady began cursing at us,

You f***** b******. How dare you say no to me! You’re gonna go to hell for this. You b******. 

The cursing and yelling continued, as she followed us for two blocks or so. My heart was racing as I sped walked and urged Spiff to hurry up! 

After a few blocks we lost her. That is, so we thought…

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Thirty minutes later Spiffy and I are on the other side of Chinatown, continuing with our photoshoot. Perhaps we were not in the safest part of town, but for two girls that love textures, and rustic looking buildings– sometimes main street Chinatown just won’t cut it.

So Spiff was taking my picture when all of a sudden, our “friend” came around the corner.

And she had fire burning in her eyes.

You du girls that wouldn’t give me cash earlier? Ohhh, you du b******. 

Yes, you du b******.

Well, I didn’t take my medicine this morning, and all I have to say… is one of you… is ABOUT. TO. DIE. 

Ummmm… come again? Did she really just say what I think she said?

My heart rate went through the roof. I was trying to stay calm, but my shakey body was a clear sign that I was anything but okay. I didn’t realize it, but I had been staring at this crazy lady when Spiff slapped my side.

Don’t make eye contact Dom. 

Oh of course, duh. I quickly looked away. I saw a runner go by. I thought about waving him down, but it all happened so quickly, I was unsure what to do. There were cars driving by on the street, but no other pedestrians nearby.


After having just threatened to kill one of us, the woman reached into her pocket, and taking a slight step forward while leaning towards us, she said-

First, I’m going to gouge your eyeballs out. 

It took a whole half a second for me to process what she had just said, before my legs began running. Sprinting rather. Which is surprising since the last time I ran was November 16 (marathon day). I ran fast around the corner and down an alleyway that connected the street we were on to Main Street, where the metro was. Spiff was quickly behind me. My body’s shaking had only intensified, and I was unable to suppress my nervous laughter as we booked it back to the metro station. I kept looking back, paranoid that she would show up again out of nowhere.

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Praise God that was the last time we saw her.

When she said she would gouge our eyeballs out while she reached into her pocket at the same time, I didn’t know what was coming next. Was a shard of glass hiding in her pocket? A knife? Maybe a gun?

Or maybe just a gumball. She was clearly unstable.

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When we got to the metro, Spiff immediately called the police to report this incident. We wanted to ensure that this woman who had not taken her medicine was off the streets. After giving the police a detailed report, Spiff and I hugged each other and headed home. I had never wanted to get out of DC so badly.

Spiff and I checked up on one another later that day to make sure we were both hanging in there after this scarring incident, and Spiff summed it up so beautifully…

I’m freshly grateful for the blessings and safety I have in my life. We could be on the streets facing her and worse everyday. God remains good always though, huh? 


So- who else has some wild stories like this one?  

One response

  1.!!! That’s a wild story! I don’t have anything close! I’m so glad you’re okay! And I can’t wait to get some photography pointers from you!

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