I Feel Dirty
I feel dirty. He touched me tonight. I did not want him to. She stood there watching as he touched me. She said they had the right. She also said I was lucky that I did not end up on the ground, face down.
Yes, I got lucky tonight.
I shut down my computer at 7pm after 10 hours at work; put on my cool black jacket, gray beanie cap, and black gloves; been working on homeless assistance programs for the past 5 years. As I left my mind drifted off to volunteering tomorrow for the County bi-annual homeless count.
As I am walking down the driveway of our building to get my dependable maroon Hybrid, I hear someone call out.
“Excuse me sir, may we have a word with you?”
Options. A: Consent. B: Forget that it is dark out here and that I am obviously a suspect and run. WWYD? Self defense? No, self preservation. I am an animal and I want to survive.
Option A is selected. “Yes.” I say, standing firm. Hopefully appearing calm in the absence of light while two people with guns (no, not those 2nd Amendment type) approach him; four eyes trained on his person. Those eyes are trained to uncover falsehoods in every hood and under every hood; deception in speech and movement is exposed as easy as packs of wolves cull the herd; danger is around every corner and sometimes it is right next door to the police station.
“Where are you coming from?”
“Do you work at the court house?” Courthouse is about 500 feet away from where we are standing.
“No. I work right there.” Points at the County building 30 paces from where I am standing with veteran and newbie officer.
“Oh.” (says the newbie officer. Short, and with no awareness of how silly big britches on little people really look) “So, you aren’t coming from the court house?”
Shortie speaks again: “Well, there was a loud noise outside the court house and we have the right to detain you.”
Me. Inside. Freaks out. WTH. Detain me. Me. Daniel. Seriously. There is too much hurt in this locker already. The Oscar has already been given for that drama. Please, no zerodarkthirty right now. Please, I don’t even know how to spell Tray Von. Rodney was no kin of mine. I have only heard the stories. Seen to lots of movies. Read the news, daily. And now, somehow these stories are running rampant. Inside.
“Do you have any weapons on you?”
For the third time the answer is still: “No.” I guess they are not speaking of the 2nd Amendment kind because those are not really weapons, those are rights, right?
“Well, do you mind if we search you?”
Me. Inside. Screams. “Hell yes, I mind.” “Mama!” They didn’t hear me. So, I screams louder, inside. “Mama!” “They want to touch me!”
Oh god, let me choose the right option.
Did not make time to prepare that will. Still need to see India. Africa. Venice, again, during La Biennale. Would be so sad that I miss volunteering with the homeless tomorrow because I didn’t want to be touched by this man. Would be so sad that all my shoes would be put up for adoption. Would be so sad that me with all of my proudness got lost in those stories inside my head and chose incorrectly. Would be so sad that I played a part in bringing to life one of the training scenarios that Mr. Veteran and Ms. Newbie have used to hone their reflexes. Would be so sad that I became a number in some other count.
Option A: “Yes.” Then, He touched me. WWYD?!? Now, I feel so dirty.
I told them that I had never been searched before.
Ms. Newbie: “Well, let’s hope that it doesn’t happen again.”
Yes, I got lucky tonight.