(Originally posted January 18, 2007)
I didn’t want to walk this morning. I wound up walking, just only for about 40 minutes, tops. I tried to tell myself that it was because I’d overslept (by ten minutes). I tried to tell myself that it was because it looked like it might rain. I tried to tell myself it was because it was cold (only 44 degrees F, and I’ve walked in colder).
I tried not to think that the real reason I didn’t want to walk was because of the three rapes that happened earlier this week, just over a mile from my house.
As women, I think we’re constantly on guard. Even if we don’t tell ourselves that we are. But how aware are you when you walk around…? I? Am always aware of who is around me, even if I pretend not to notice them. I’m always flicking my eyes here and there when walking through a seemingly empty parking lot. Carrying my key wedged between my fingers in such a way that if I have to punch or stab, I will leave a motherfucking mark. I always size up people coming towards me when I’m walking Bridgett in the morning – especially if they don’t look like joggers, or aren’t walking a dog of their own. I am always on guard.
And I am aware, every single morning, that I am a small female walking a harmless dog and that I am alone. Thankfully Bridgett does look fierce (not that I think if someone wanted to, they’d let her stop them) … even though we all know she’s a big softy at heart.
And I can’t be one of those people who lets fear run their lives. Sure, healthy respect for danger is a good thing. And if you’re one of those people who never leaves the house because they’re afraid of what might happen… well, I’m sorry for you. I understand where you’re coming from. But I can’t live like that.
So this morning I told myself it was the grey fog. The dark clouds. The cold. The weather was the reason I didn’t want to walk.
And then, albeit not for long, I walked anyway.