I’ve only ever met one carjacker, so maybe that title’s misleading. Actually, I don’t even know if he was trying to jack my car, so that title is definitely misleading. Let me explain. It was a beautiful and smoggy Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles. The sun was shining, the children were playing, and the birds were dying from pollution. I was driving home from an internship when I decided to stop for gas because sometimes I’m a responsible adult who takes care of my things. I filled up my tank and pulled out of the Chevron, waiting to make a left turn onto Vermont.
A man who looks like he was probably homeless but let’s not make any assumptions here, walks in front of my car and smiles at me. Sometimes weird people smile at me; my mom says they can sense my weakness. Sure enough, he walks around to the side of my car and immediately goes for the passenger door handle. It’s the middle of the day on the busiest street in downtown LA and he’s trying to break into my car! Massive balls and/or drugs, am I right? My heart jumps and a million things go through my mind, first and foremost, “What the fuuuuuuck,” and soon after, “I hope that mace under my bed is having a jolly good time right now.” I whip my head around to check my locks and due to some leftover Christmas miracle my car doors are locked. I never lock my car doors because haven’t you heard?, I’m 20 and invincible. Suspected Carjacker tries the handle a couple times, staring at me and continuing to smile as if he lived to scare the shit out of me.
Now, normal people would react to this moment with screaming, honking, possibly putting the car in drive and running over the guy like a badass superhero. Me? I froze. My heart was beating as fast as a crack addict’s and I was staring at the bus full of people stopped in front of my car, silently sending distress signals with my mind. Due to my benign reaction, the bus people clearly thought this man was my friend and I was playing a trick on him by not unlocking my door. What’s worse, to bystanders I didn’t appear to be terrified at all; my face assumed a sort of smile at the whole absurdity of the situation. I watched Suspected Carjacker try and get in my car with what I can only assume was a mildly entertained expression on my face. Clearly my body wants to commit suicide, because in times when it should be screaming for help it instead tells people, “We’re good here. No need for saving.” Finally, Suspected Carjacker admitted defeat and threw up a peace sign like some homeless Richard Nixon before walking off and grinning like someone who just successfully traumatized a young adult. The moral of the story: evolution will soon weed me out.