fear and loathing in new orleans

by angeliska on January 15, 2003

i walk outside and it’s night, clear and cold- perfect and blue-black
the sky through the trees and glare of stoplights is still littered with stars..
i take off walking in search of sustenance towards hell’s kitchen..
i never go there, but it seems close enough and relatively appealing..
the streets are dark and empty and i’m singing..
on the corner under a streetlight stands a man,
as i pass by he whispers, “psst..”
and starts to follow me.
“psst.”
i walk faster,
feeling in my pockets
for my knife, which i’ve left at home..
the one time i decide to walk, instead of riding my bicycle-
the one time i leave the house un-armed,
the one time i decide to go somewhere new, unfamiliar..
“psssst…”
i’m exhausted from spending the last four hours scrubbing a filthy floor
a labour of love at a friend’s new apartment..
i’m much more vulnerable than i ever am usually-
every last ounce of strength is drained from me,
every muscle aches, hands too blistered to fight off any attacker
“psst..”
i walk faster still, my boots are heavy when i need to be fleet-
i want to turn around and scream in his face,
i loathe being “psst-ed” more than any derogatory cat-call
if you have something shitty to say, just fucking say it already..
the urge to turn around and scream in his face is almost overwhelming-
luckily, i have some self-control and sense of self-preservation.
nobody’s home on this block, the shops closed, the houses dark
the empty dog park looms to my left, the perfect place to drag me off
this situation is looking worse and worse
with every minute’s super-charged awareness of it..
i don’t want to be the fucking rabbit, the gutless, guileless prey
to this fat bastard’s pathetic predator,
he’s wearing a jogging suit, for pete’s sakes..
i round the corner, scanning for my destination
not a car passes, not a soul walks by.
a dog slams against the fence at my right
his teeth an inch from my face,
slavering and barking ferociously..
i see the red glow up ahead, my beacon
i duck in the door and stand in the corner
i’ve gotten away..
this city is not a safe one.
i prefer to carry weapons, even in a calm town.
i think i am not someone who needs to own a gun,
for i would be tempted to use it in fits of anger and misanthropy-
i don’t like being threatened.
i won’t stand for it.
i ache all over, and desperately need a bath..
i have dustbunnies in my hair.

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