Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I want to live in a city where a walk after sundown doesn't feel like a dare.

Because that is a horrible feeling.

My darling little lady decided she wanted to go for a long walk today. We were visiting a friend near our favorite coffeeshop and park and the sun had gone down far enough for the city to only be lit by streetlights and the occasional car headlights.

We walked, hand-in-hand with her occasionally nearly tripping over bumpy sidewalks and flimsy flip-flops. We circled the block- picking flowers and stopping at the park water fountain.

Around the corner a man pacing in the middle of the street wished a good night and I smiled and nodded, but walked faster as his "friends" on bicycles neared him. I don't like that feeling. I don't want to feel that feeling- that threatened feeling. I read recently on a city blog a heads-up to that little boys - 11-12 years old had been circling the area on bicycles checking car doors. I've heard stories more times that I can count on one hand about people - usually youths- riding up on people walking the neighborhood after dark and assaulting them or simply pushing them down and taking what they want. It hurts my heart. And it makes me feel scared and unsafe and too on guard and ready for a fight (which, good luck to me if it ever goes down).

I looked over my shoulder every two seconds from that corner to my car. I've mentally prepared myself for years for a potential mugging. I know far too many victims of crime here (burglaries, assault, muggings) to ever let my guard down for too long. Maybe I just spent too many years in the service industry which just makes you feel like a walking target so often.. Maybe I've just spent far too many years in this city. Or maybe I just want to feel safe. What a sad state of affairs.

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