Monday, March 06, 2006



If there's one thing that I hate about this world, or this country, or this city - I don't know what it is - is the constant fear that envelopes a girl walking alone. Or not even a girl alone, but just a person walking alone. Guys get jumped too - a friend of mine is recent proof of that.

It seems as though it's impossible to go somewhere without constantly checking your back. Being painfully aware of every scrape, noticing the shadows, giving passersby the "I see you" look. Not just during the night time, though especially then. I live so close to many beautiful locales, and I fervently wish that I could walk to those places at night, for a stroll. Take some time to think, get some exercise, and some fresh air. Just to be.

And yes, the chances are with me that it's going to be safe, the majority of the time. But I don't want to be the fool splashed all over the nightly news, who thought she was invincible.

My parents worry about me a lot...I think that's the nature of being a parent. During the summer, when I was still home, I decided to walk to Z's house to say hello. My mom suggested that my younger bro walk with me, to make sure I arrived safely. Z's house is down one street, up another. The shortest walk in the world. And as far as I know, there haven't been any recent (if ever) random violent crimes in my neighborhood, or in the neighboring blocks. (*knock on wood!!*)

I cannot imagine how worried they must be about me down here, then. When they found that I sometimes took the Metro back from the bar at night, by myself, because my friends were still partying and I wanted to peace out, they made me promise to take a cab every time. And I have, since then. What's $15, in terms of my relative safety, and my parents' relative peace of mind?

There was an article a couple of months ago, somewhere, on this very topic. I'm drawing a blank on all identifying details. In the article, the woman, an American, wrote of her experiences in another country. She said that she took walks at night, and it took her a while to realize that she did not have to be afraid. The feeling had become so embedded that she did not realize that she had been carrying it around in her heart, and on her shoulders.

Will we ever be able to lift off that coat of fear, the armor of distrust? Or, when here, is it fastened on for good?

take a cab-always- I was walking back to my friends campus- on a busy street in Albany NY a couple years ago,and for some reason some girl decided it would be fun to punch me- fat lips and black eyes are no fun at all...this was a block away from the bar we were leaving, on a street with at least 4 stores open- mostly you can never be too sure.
In the current climate, living where we do, there are warnings everywhere - not just about individual safety, but of those around you. If you ride the metro you see warnings about spotting strange packages and there's the prevailing fear that "an attack can happen at any time". It's no wonder those of us who live here think that way.
You don't hear about the millions of people who walk outside at night safely, it's only the murders and muggings that make the news.
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