Yesterday I went out.
A pair of attorneys at the firm are getting married in the next two weeks (but not to each other).
One is one of my bosses. The other is what I dub a quasi-boss because she gets a lot of work from my Big Boss, and in turn I do a lot of work with/for her.
A nice little bar was picked out for the gathering.
It was in the heart of downtown Newark. Two minutes from the Prudential Center (for non New Jersinians, it's a place where the New Jersey NBA team plays, they have concerts there, that kind of stuff). A little over a half-mile from the office. 7/10ths of a mile to be precise.
I know because I google-mapped it and walked there after work.
After I had had my fill of getting tipsy and making a general ass of myself, I wanted to go home.
It was 9:00 p.m.
Coworkers asked me where I had parked.
I replied back at the office.
"Do you need a ride back?"
"Um, no. I can walk."
"WALK? IN NEWARK AT NIGHT?"
I just don't fucking get it.
Ok, granted there was a Nets game going on and a big Poetry Festival
(yeah, I guess poetry isn't dead after all), so the po-po was pretty visible.
But I would have walked by myself anyway.
And I did.
I said my goodnights, and set off.
Only to be chased.
No, not by some big scary mother-raper-father-stabber.
By one of my male coworkers who plead with me to let him give me a ride back to the office.
I held my ground and kept walking and told him there was nothing to be afraid of.
I've done my research
. I'm more likely to be raped walking around Anchorage, Alaska.
And it's not like I didn't know where I was walking. I walk past that bar every other Friday to cash my paychecks (I've stopped going to the bank in the neighborhood where Mrs. Longbotham used to live).
Finally I was able to shake Knight In Shining Two Piece Suit.
Only to have my phone ring as I got to parking lot where my car was.
I just missed the call--it was Big Boss.
He filled me in on the story this morning. He apparently took off after me when Knight in Shining Two Piece Suit failed at his mission and called me when he couldn't find me (oh yes, I'm on his speed-dial. Lucky me.).
What can I say? I don't lolly gag. If I've got somewhere to go, I walk. Must be from all those marches to the grocery store mom used to put us on when we were little. March up to the grocery store, load up our backpacks with the groceries and march back home.
I did call him back after I saw I missed his call. I told him that I had just made it to the parking lot and I was safe and sound.
I mean I get it. You want to be nice. You don't want bad things to happen to people.
But what if those bad things are perceived by you and not others?
I know I'm the minority but Newark is going to get NOWHERE if people are afraid to go outside at night.
And let's just cut to the chase and say what I'm almost positive they're all thinking. They don't like the idea of a 5'2" white girl walking home in a city that is (or at least was in 2000) 74% not-white.
I can't help but wonder if we were in say I dunno some affluent part of New Jersey they would go through such trouble to get me to get into their cars to drive not even a mile
Seriously, I don't know what I find more appalling, the idea of hopping into a car to travel .7 miles, or living your life in such crippling fear of the unknown?
And for the record, I was not raped, robbed or murdered on my short walk back to my car. Half the people I saw on my trip back to my car were mothers and kids/babies.
Well maybe I should be scared. Babies are known to have sharp teeth.
Labels: New Jersey, Work