Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Fear of Street Walking

I take my safety for granted. I go drinking and come home late on the subway, by myself. I never have enough money for cab fare . Not that taking a taxi is necessarily a safer option. Last November, a rapist attacked two women two separate times one block away from the apartment where I live. This kept me indoors after 9 pm until the spring came and my boredom and depression forced me back out.

I have been lucky so far living in New York City. Only in New York City is being lucky getting mugged by a group of 7 when I was 12 and having numerous men whip their cocks out in the subway and jerk off in front of me on my way to and from high school on the subway. My closest call of being attacked by a stranger happened on the night I had my first date with el Cubano. It was Valentine's Day, 2001 and I was giddy from delicious kisses and just a little drunk from wine and conversation. It was also very late. The combo made me not very aware and a man slipped into my apartment building behind me. I took the elevator and suddenly on the 2nd floor the elevator stopped and a man opened the door just enough for his body to fit. His penis was in his hand and he was jerking himself off. I tried to push the door so I could get out of the elevator where I was now trapped. I tried to push him out. I screamed for help. Now mind you my neighbor complains that I walk too hard but she and everyone else in the building ignored my cries for help. Finally he stepped back and I was alone in the elevator. Then I began to worry about if he would follow me up to the fourth floor where I live and follow me into my apartment. So I got off on the third floor and suddenly had the urge to find this man who ruined my perfect date night and chase him and then if I caught him, well I didn't think that far ahead. I ran down the stairwell of my building screaming, " I'm gonna get you mothafuker and then I'm gonna cut your dick off asshole!" I remember holding my keys tight in my hand. Maybe I thought of stabbing the man with my keys. I never caught him. He ran out of the building and into the streets.

One of my biggest regrets is that I never called the police that night just like years later I didn't report when I was nearly raped by an ex of mine.

Tonight I was supposed to go out with la Fea to the Tertulia. I really didn't have anything to perform. I considered translating portions of the short story I am working on. I could have pushed myself to finish a poem that is floating in my head. Than I saw this. The attack didn't happen near where I live but the G train passes by me. I have been on the G train many times, at 3 in the morning, just like the woman who was attacked. Maybe she was coming home from a date all giddy. Maybe she had been drinking with her girlfriends from high school. Maybe she had just given a kick ass performance.

I am not going out tonight.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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$15 advance tickets $20 at the door

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6/08/2005 10:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NLHN seeks a paid Public Health Intern ? 20 hours/week (Summer) - New Brunswick, NJ
The mission of the National Latina Health Network (NLHN) is to address critical public health concerns affecting Latinas and their families by promoting leadership, advocacy, community health partnerships and initiatives through education and outreach that will improve the health and well-being of the Hispanic/Latino community nationwide. Organizational goals include 1) To strengthen, support and involve networks of Latina leaders in developing a leadership constituency in the field of public health and 2) To build local/national community health partnerships to enhance the quality of life of Latinas and their families.

Description of Duties:

To assist staff in the research, coordination and development of local and national public health campaigns focusing on Latina health issues. Topics may include reproductive freedom; sexuality education, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) issues; access to healthcare; and HIV/AIDS. Activities may include: monitoring current public health legislation, attending meetings with NLHN staff, drafting program proposals, organizing events on a local level, assisting in the development and coordination of Health Education training materials and performing general office duties as necessary.

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6/08/2005 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger fiercelyfab said...

Only if this administration were to take 10% of its military budget and launch an anti-violence campaign nationally, with special attention to gender based violence we'll probably reduce the degree of violence that exists today. Being violent and being complicit to violence will have a stigma that will permeate a zero tolerance level to violence. People will step up when witnessing violence in its various forms instead of being afraid and/or apathetic.

Human necessities such as shelter, a job, education won't be scarce and on top of that, peace will be all over in our institutions’ polices, domestic and foreign alike and that will be shown through our quality of life and the argument will then become ‘it is human nature to be peaceful’. Anger management, comprehensive group or lone counseling will be available among other ideas/programs/policies that can work or have worked for perpetrators of violence and everyone that experience aggressive prone to become violent behaviors.

Until then, many people will be violent (in a pattern or sporadically) and the only form of alleviating it will be by bringing more cops onto the streets and criminalizing a chunk of our population. That's sad that our only intervention to violence as our only option is to call the cops when we're in danger or see danger. It’s only natural to want to be safe, and find intervention at its last resort when feeling alone and vulnerable. But there’s a much better way of approaching this and it definitely starts with our institutions and communities responses to this problem.
Until then we're left to leave our homes at our own risks and stay indoors out of precaution when there are higher incidences of violence in our communities (like in the summertime). It makes me angry that we have to live with fear por ser mujer. Hay que juntarnos pa' take over the world...
Un abrazo,

6/08/2005 11:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Janine said...

i want to say something helpful and articulate but i'm gonna have to leave that to la fabulosa mujer cause i'm reduced to silently screaming from my keyboard.

maybe i can say this - i hate that we have to fear. i hate that you and i and millions of others have been hurt. that we have to guard our children from being hurt. that we live in a society that doesn't give a shit.

i hate that we have to wait. but...someday...maybe in our babies lifetime...we'll 'get you mothafucker'.

6/09/2005 06:28:00 PM  

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