The young man was outside, working in the garden when I left for work at 6.16 morning. We've come to an agreement, and he'll come in twice a month to do some of the heavy gardening work required.
A friend of mine says I was crazy to talk to him in the first place. "What if he pulled out a a gun and shot you? Maybe even raped you first?" he asked.
Then I'd be dead, and he can tell my corpse "I told you so." I agree with him that we live in a rough time and place. And it's for this reason I can't afford not to respond to a request for help.
I also think this is part of the ethos of this suburb. Somehow people in this area have managed to form a community in the middle of a fast-paced, sometimes impersonal city. Old people still go out for a walk after dark and greet as they walk past.
Families walk their dogs, inciting every other dog and their cousin to bark madly. Kids do play outside on the street. And yes, neighbours still check on one another, even though we're not necessarily friends ( I had no less than 4 knocks on my door over the weekend because people heard I had the flu and they wanted to check if I was cared for.)
These are the values I want to pass to my Baby, even while she learns to take precautions against predators.