Back about the summer of '88, I'd walked up to an all-night gas station to buy some smokes-it was about half-past midnight. The station was about a half mile from my apartment, but the night was pleasant, and I didn't mind the walk. I strolled north down Reid Avenue, waving as a passing car honked at me.
I got to the station, bought my cigarettes, and was walking out when a woman I knew came in, to pay for her gas. I hadn't seen Zori in a bit, so we started a conversation as we walked out. She asked me if I needed a lift home, and I accepted.
We drove south down Reid Avenue, talking about this and that. About halfway along the way, at Eleventh Street, is a railroad crossing, at the top of a rise. As we approached it, I saw, from the passenger side, a woman walking south, slowly, as if tired or injured. St. Joseph's Hospital was about ten blocks down from there, so we slowed a bit, to come abreast of her.
I rolled down my window, and at that instant, there was an eerie sense of unease, almost of dread, seeming to come from the walking figure. She was in shadow, and I couldn't see her face clearly.
"Excuse me," I said, "but do you need a ride... Can we help you?"
She stopped, and turned toward me, her face still a shadowed blur. The weird sensation increased as she spoke.
"You can't help me... No one can help me", she said. Then, the feeling got even stronger, becoming almost an odor in the air. I rolled up the window, and Zori sped up, topping the rise.
As we crossed the tracks, I looked back through the rear window-there was no one in sight.