Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Can't Shake The Feeling

I was in the middle of a post about my recent meds change, when the day overtook me: There were kids to wrangle, a dog to walk, bread to be thrown into a nearby stream.

[The latter is a ritual called tashlich that is performed during Rosh Hashanah; it's a symbolic casting of your sins upon the water. Our congregation met in a park, said a prayer or two, tossed our crumbs of bread, and then hung out, ate fruit, and chatted for about an hour while the kids ran up and down the stream, poking at the water with sticks and trying to see where the bread would wind up.]

Normally, I would have taken the entry up again when I got home, but despite having had a wonderful time at the park, I was feeling restless and unhappy in general, and decided to try to walk the feeling away by heading down to the local drugstore for a few items I needed.

On the way back, Starbucks iced coffee in hand, I nodded pleasantly at the woman walking her dog, the young couple strolling hand in hand, the family out for a bike ride, the teenager carrying his skateboard in one hand and jerking off with the other...

Huh? I whirled around. Said young man caught my eye and began moaning, walking toward me, continuing his, um, current occupation. I swear that it didn't occur to me, then, to be scared; instead, I was just, well, grossed out.

"What is WRONG with you?" I yelled over my shoulder at him. "What is your PROBLEM?" And I walked away. He followed, moaning.

I hadn't gone more than a few steps when, turning a corner, I saw a woman with a large dog walking toward us. Masterbatory Boy saw her too, shifted his skateboard to cover his, um, actions, and shifted to continue walking up the street we'd both been on a second ago.

After he was out of sight, all I could think was, "Ew." Well, that and, "You've gotta be kidding me, kid. I'm a 42-year-old mother of two. If this is the best you can do, you've got a sad life ahead of you."

I was another three, four blocks away when it occurred to me that maybe I should have called the cops. Not that I could have done it at the moment I saw him, had I even thought of it, since my cell was in my backpack/purse, and not easily accessible. But even if I could have...what would I have said? "Be on the lookout for a young man sporting a skateboard and a large erection"? It just felt so stupid...and so icky.

It's only now, hours later, that I feel really shaky and sort of sick to my stomach with the what-could-have-beens and the what-I-should-have-dones. Why didn't I even take out my cell phone when I saw him turn toward me, if only to scare him off? Why didn't I say anything to the dog-walking woman about what she might have been walking toward? Why didn't I do ANYthing except scold him like he was three years old?

None of that changes the present reality, of course. And the present reality is now this: It's going to be a while before I'll feel safe heading out for a twilight walk again, especially without Snug in tow. It's going to be a while before I feel safe walking to the drugstore again. It's going to be a while before I feel safe.

Of course, I've been here before, in this place where I used to, but no longer can, feel safe--even in my own home, or in my own neighborhood. Most woman have been here, to be honest; I'm not special in that way. I just have a little more experience with it than some, thanks to Stalker Girl. I just have an already-primed and somewhat-more-sensitive set of neurochemicals. But I also have a previously-put-in-place game plan for when things rocket out of my safety zone. And so, once again, I'll curtail my activities, make changes to my life and my routines, and pop a few extra Xanax...all because somebody else decides to act like a dick.

Still, none of that makes me any less angry. And, man, am I angry. Man, would I love to kick that kid's pathetic little ass. And man, would I love, just once, to be able to get angry...really angry...without also being really scared.

I'm really scared.

free hit counter