The Truth About Walking Alone in the Dark

Normally a Teaser Tuesday would grace the presence of the tip top of my blog on a Tuesday morning. I haven’t been on top of my reading, so that’s part of why it’s not a TT day. There’s also something I’ve been wanting to talk about. It’s something you’re probably tired of hearing about if you’ve recently been bombarded with it. If you’re not used to it, it’s probably been tiring you out as well.

I think you should know that there are many things I shouldn’t do. There are many things I should, and do. All in the name of safety. There are many things I can tell you about the average day. Some are too close to home to share. I mean, it’s not easy to share everything with strangers, is it?

* * *

I run sometimes. I try to keep a schedule. Every now and then the schedule doesn’t stick. I have to think about this a lot. When to run. Where to run. If I can go alone. I have to tell someone I’m leaving and how long I think I’ll be. No, I don’t live at home. This is a precaution.

* * *

When I was in college, I parked in a further lot due to parking issues at the school. After some classes, I had to call my parents in order to make sure I would be on the phone with someone as I walked to the car in the dark. Keys between my fingers. A faster stride. One unusual sound and the senses heighten.

* * *

I don’t get gas at night unless I’m with someone. You just never know, right? You can’t go anywhere alone these days. Look around to make sure you know where everything and everyone is. How long does it take to fill up a tank? It’s acknowledging that for as long as you’re putting gas in your car, you’re that much more helpless.

* * *

When I know I’m going to run outside…if I’m going alone…I choose my running outfits carefully. I’m not trying to look stylish. It’s about wearing running clothes that don’t attract attention. Let’s remember what we’re taught: If anything happens to me, it’s my fault.

* * *

The thought came to me when I was walking to my neighborhood gym. It’s pitch black outside and the Earth seems still. If I were the only person, I’d be okay, maybe calm. Instead, it’s a painful array of thoughts that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. It’s about trying to figure out if you’re alone. Making it to the gym in one piece. Then you’re in the one-treadmill gym and are you safe? Every mirror is checked. Every window is assessed. It’s a need to make sure there’s a way out if one is needed. This is a deep seeded paranoid thought. I’m not entirely sure how many people think these things. I can’t say whether or not I’m crazy for these thoughts or how far they go. Many more happen, it’s an everyday thing. I can’t help it. I didn’t know until recently that it was so stuck in my mind. It’s second nature. All because I’m a woman.

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