Friday, December 5, 2008

what happened to that small town vibe?

I used to believe that home was a safe place. I never understood when my mom would tell me I couldn’t ride my bike up and down the street without supervision and when I was older, I would get so frustrated with being unable to go for a run by myself. But now that I’m 22 and I’ve lived through 9-11, Hurricane Katrina and my house being broken into while my youngest sister was home alone, I think I understand more of my mother’s paranoia.
These days, it’s not uncommon for me to open up and read 4-5 articles about some kind of violence that occurred in my hometown. My mind goes through infinite worries of how any of those things could happen to my mother, my sister, my grandmothers and even my father (seeing as how even men have lately become targets of brutal violence). And lately my neighborhood has gotten worse and worse. The trashiest people have moved into our area and it angers me. I hate the idea of having to carry a knife to protect myself and knowing that in order to use it, they have to be that close to me.
That anyone would break into our house and steal from us, the things that my mother and father have worked hard to provide and threaten the safety of my youngest sister just makes me want to become a vigilante. I know that’s not the way to solve things and have enough reason to refrain from such actions, but in my mind those boys paid for the pain and suffering they caused more than they actually have.
I remember when San Antonio was still like a small town, and you could walk to your car without freaking out over every set of footsteps you heard behind you. I used to go to the grocery store and mall by myself with no fear of being attacked and now, I don’t even go to the corner store without telling someone first.
And what really pisses me off, is the comments made on those stories of violence. Some people have the audacity to blame the victim. THE VICTIMS!? Really!? Last time I checked, it was not against the law to move at 1 in the morning. Some people work during the day and the only time they have to move is at night. Granted it’s been found that the peak hours for crime are in the middle of the night, but should that stop us from living our lives normally? Should we all board up and barricade our windows and doors from 10 pm to 6:30 am?
But it’s not just San Antonio…it’s the world. My best friend/soul mate/other half (aka boyfriend) is in the military and not a day goes by when he’s on an overnight trip or overseas trip that I don’t hope that there really are angels protecting him, and that I’m wrong that a divine being does not exist. The last time he was gone overseas and I didn’t get to talk to him for 5 days was right after the attacks in Mumbai. Imagine the fears and worries I had for those 120+hours. I have so much respect for the men and women who wait for weeks upon weeks for their loved ones to come home from overseas.

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