Don’t ever feel less than

Being a humanitarian in my neck of the woods goes to the extent of allowing your straight laced face to brighten a bit, soften and allow the corners of your mouth to curl into a “hi-I-see-you-but-that’s-about-it” grimmace. It’s not like I’m from the Bronx or spend time frequenting the streets; but the facts are this: within a mile radius of where I reside, there is the highest crime rate in the city, besides North Murderapolis, rightfully so. I also live at a location where it is normal for people to be walking around with suitcases and strollers not filled with luggage or babies; but crack. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve been asked if I have any for someone to buy, if I’d like to buy some, or if I know someone that wants any – each time my answer is the same. I don’t feel in danger where I live, but I know to be vigilent once the sun sets and walking home alone after 10 pm isn’t an option for me. Every city has their crime rate, cop calls, hustlers, and batch of shade balls; I’m not saying  I live amongst the worst, but it most definitely isn’t the best.

Waking up this morning to a woman outside my window, screaming; and when i say screaming I mean gasping for air like she’s running from a K9, “Somebody help me, I don’t have any shoes, someone help me”; I awake confused and groggy having to check if I was dreaming this or if reality has seeped into my dreams to wake me up to a nightmare, I hear it again, no dream here. I shoot out of bed throw my pants and a sweatshirt on; when it occurs to me – why am i doing this? Going outside at 3am in my neighborhood is asking for a brawl; considering my blonde hair and white skin; I walk outside to a man yelling at a woman telling her “this isn’t a democracy its a dictatorship”. 1) its 3 am quit talking like you’re about to accept a nobel peace prize 2) if a man ever spoke to me in that manner there would literally be spit on the ground after I slap him to the appropriate degree. They heard the door, looked at me; instantly recognizing my unwelcomeness I simply said “maam is there anything I can help you with”, I almost prayed she would ask; knowing that this was as fucked up a situation as it could be at this hour without cops being present: she looked at me with worry in her eyes and shook her head; I then simply turned to the man who was holding this woman almost by the collar against my building and gave him simple directions “it’s best you take your hands off her, and go inside. If there’s something you two need to speak about, let’s not make it a public affair – I also ask that when you speak to her, do so with respect; and the only hand you choose to raise to her better be the one to ask for forgiveness after the shit you just said.”

I understand most people wouldn’t have taken this route, but we all know i’m not most people; sensing I was going to get my ass beat I quickly shut the door and went back  into my unit – listening through the window silently I hear him apologize and the two of them walk away. Now I doubt my words had any lasting effect, but I can comprehend that this man had never been told to do so before; never knowing the difference doesn’t make ignorance ok. If I sat in my room and overheard this man verbally and physically abuse this woman I would be sick to my stomach – I’m not saying go shove yourself into any situation you can anywhere possible; but when your moral compass tells you to do something; do it. Not because its what you want to do, but because it’s right.

Lying in my bed staring at the ceiling my mind wanders back to a trip I took this past summer to a newfound favorite city of mine. Our stay happened to fall over the fourth of July, naturally we celebrated, everything was easy breezy going fine until shit hit the fan. I think back to the time where I was this woman; having someone way too close to my face than ever appropriate, yelling at me like I was some sort of child: I’ll never forget the words that were spit at me, and how it felt to be verbally slapped in the face. I foolishly forgave, but I never forgot – this particular person in my life had no right to say those things; and the fact that he would use my past to slap me in the face says exactly who he is as a person and what every fiber of his character stands for. Be well, Be beautiful – at least try to be; ignorance is bliss TJM…chase yours.

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