I admit I appreciate a good window. Counting the planted pots, viewing the crisp palm tree reflections, swaying my head with the white or blue or floral drapes. Analyzing the stained glass color combinations and the radio tunes coming from within.
As I relax into another vegan restaurant and dig for my journal as the question nests into myself: how safe are the streets of Los Angeles?The scuffs on my shoes tell me I exist in LA among the paint chip aesthetic of scattered buildings. The blood maroon and daylight yellow. The strange hellos of various windows my walking habit has introduced me to. My brief love affairs with locations. Like the dainty pressed roses on the lace tablecloth framing the complimentary chia tea the color of my blush. The clear bottles along the entrance window reflected on the wall. With “Piano Man” ringing around the empty tables and chairs and soy sauce dishes I think back to my question.
The alleys and oddly named streets have started to recognize me and so have the catcalling inhabitants. The gawking boy that fell off his bike saying a gooey hello. The “hey sexy” breathed as I jutted ahead at the crosswalk. The awkward older men that insist on repeating “hi.” But nothing quite compares to being stalked to a Boba Story by a man with alcohol mixed in with his gas station sippy cup. The creepy crossed lines. He walked in and paid for my mango drink. He talked about his construction job and love for 80’s movies. A rush of annoyance. And still my feet are not afraid. This world is full of lonely souls. Call me “too nice.” Say “I got lucky.” I’m listening.
Compliments are soft soap. Flattery is laughable. And my occasional interrupted wandering now has a story. I’m insane for not shuttering at the thought of a stroll alone near sundown. I’m a foolish girl begging for trouble. (sigh)
My friend directs me to amazon.com for an assortment of affordable pepper sprays. The warning from the security lady echoes to my swooshing ponytail to “be safe” as I run across the street for groceries.
Approaching five months in this urban residence and countless miles strolled, occasionally with no direct destination or safety net. Possibly I’m so aloof that the dangers are swarming around me without any recognition. Maybe I’m simply so autonomous that I don’t care. Reckless. Inspired. Unworried. (Takes another step into the 6:48 P.M. dark.)
On an average day, you’ll find me on a random sidewalk angling my gaze toward shattered windows. The shards of society forgetting that part of the problem is teaching women to be so fearful.