When I got to the other end of the road, I realized that my loop was going to be way farther and take way longer than I intended, so I decided to turn around and retrace my steps after all. Just as I was starting back, new-ish, beige, Mercedes SL with New York tags passes in the same direction I'm heading, swings wide around me and disappears around the corner. As I round the corner, there's the Mercedes up ahead, idling by the side of the road. Immediately, I know that no good can come of this. I briefly consider turning around again and beating a retreat, but the thought of trying to explain to my wife that I'm late picking her up because I was afraid of a little beige Mercedes makes me keep walking.
As I approach the car, it occurs to me that I have no cell phone, and nobody on earth knows where I am. If something happens, I'll be nothing more than a missing persons report, filed away in a police station somewhere. I keep walking anyway, ready to run, or fight, or just fall over and play dead as the situation warrants. As I pass the driver's side, I peek out of the corner of my eye, avoiding eye contact at all cost. I see an older, white-haired guy, and he seems to be fiddling with a manual gearshift. Then my brain accepts the reality of what I'm seeing: he's got his erect penis in his right hand, just bashing the bishop for all it's worth. I just shake my head and keep on moving.
I make it almost all the way back to the beginning of the road uneventfully, except for a light rain starting up, because that was just the kind of day I was having. Then I hear a car, and turn to see the Mercedes coming down the road. All I can think is, "Now what?" He passes me, makes a U-turn at the intersection, and pulls over, facing me on the opposite side of the road, maybe 50 yards away. I can't really see much in the car from the glare on the windows, but I just keep on walking and staring him down. I feel like if I falter or show any fear, I'm a goner. I was just about to try pulling my iPod Touch out of my pocket and pretending to make a call on it, when he pulls out and takes off back the way he came, never to be seen again.
I wish I'd had a cell with me, or a camera, or had at least thought to remember his tag number. As it was, I didn't bother calling the cops. It was too long before I was able to get to a phone, and I didn't have any information more specific than an old guy in a Mercedes with out-of-state tags. Needless to say, I tend to stick to more populated areas when I walk these days.