Chills Up My Spine

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       I was living in Phoenix and a young college student around 1981 or so. The day had come and It was going to be my first day on the job at a Hotel right smack in the middle of the city. Downtown district or Central Drive back then was a dangerous place to be. Here I am, a Frenchman from Maine, walking the streets of the city. The big buildings were intimidating for me, and I’m very nervous just being there. I was going to be a busboy in a restaurant on the very top of this Hotel. It was a rotating structure that moved 360 degree’s in one hour. I get in the elevator and hit floor 28  and off to the top I go. The elevator door opens and I talk to the manager, come right with me he states. I was giving twelve tables to clean up after people had dined. I walked over to edge of the structure and all the glass all the way around was just beautiful. I look down and can see the city streets, what a view I’m thinking. It sure doesn’t look like pine tree’s here. The day ended and I hopped into the elevator for my trip down. It is now about 2300 hrs and the elevator stops at ground floor. I walk through the two double doors to the outside street. The doors automatically shut behind you, thump I hear behind me. I just started walking and three Asian men are walking toward me, I look over to my right and there is some other guys in a small parking lot sitting next to a barrel that is on fire to keep warm. It does get cool at night in the Arizona nights at times. So the three guys are approaching me and one guy grabs my arm and holds me and the other two are behind me so I’m not sure what their intentions are. The guy speaks in broken English and tells me to give him money . I’m starting to get chills up my spine because I have heard about people getting knifed around here. I tell him I only have a quarter in my pocket and I will give it to him. He tells me thank you man, this will help feed his family. Yea right! He walks away with his friends and my nerves are now on the way down. I realize that you never know what to expect but always be vigilant when your under the gun. I worked in that restaurant for a few months and had the crap scared out of me other times. I would drive my motorcycle to a small parking lot up the street and I would run as fast as possible to the Hotel. At night I would have to run by the local bars on the street with people fighting in the street. I would run right by them with my motorcycle key in hand and when I arrived at the bike I was zoom off. Another time I came to a traffic light and there was people fighting in the street. I drove right through that light and made off like roadrunner. Beep! Beep! The chills on my spine happened a few times in that city and I grew street smart real fast.

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