Safety is an Illusion


I am more pissed off at the moment than I’ve been in a long while, and I’m going to write about it while the rage is burning through my veins.

I walked to the post office this morning to mail a package.  The post office is only a half mile from my house.  A lot of times I drive the distance because I have other things I want to get back to.  Today, despite the rain and overcast, I chose to walk because I haven’t been getting much exercise.

Mailed my package and headed home.  About two-thirds of the way home, I heard tires on wet pavement.  Something made me turn around.  There was a black car position about a half-block back from me, following me at a crawl.  Being one to give the benefit of the doubt, I assumed (oh, that word!) that it was someone looking for a particular address.

After a bit, I looked back again.  It was still there.  Black car.  Dark windows.  I thought about stopping, turning, taking out my phone and snapping a picture, but I didn’t want to stop.  I didn’t want them to get any closer.

When I reached my neighbor’s house, I cut across their back yard.  At that point, the car sped up and passed by.  I crossed from my neighbor’s into my yard (we live back to back, not side by side), came into the house, and immediately called the police.  I’m beating myself up for not getting the make of car or the license plate, but can you understand the fear of not wanting to stop, to give them a chance to get closer?

I’ve written before about being raised in fear, being trained to live with it as the thing that controls my life.  I’ve written about my fight to undo that training.  To feel such fear now makes me so angry I could scream.

How dare they invade my life?  How dare they take away my pleasure in a walk, my enjoyment of my own community?  HOW FUCKING DARE THEY?!

Watch yourselves, people.  Here there be monsters.

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Anger, Connecticut, Essays, Fear, Independent Writers, Melissa Crandall, Rage, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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