Well, call me John McCain, I’m a mo’ fo’ flip flopper.
Three times in my adult life I have felt extremely threatened.
The first was in November of 2011 when I was chased down 15th St. in Lawrence buy a guy in a hoodie and converse high tops. Thankfully the combination of adrenaline and being in actually long distance running shape kept me at least half a block a head of him the whole time.
The second was this past summer in Lawrence when a guy in a car was super creepy, slowed down beside me (when I was running again at night…. lesson learned) and pulled into a parking lot that was in the direction of where I was heading.
And the third was at 5:34 this morning.
The phone rang, I reached over half asleep. Must be work, someone didn’t show up, or I didn’t show up… wait what time is, what day?
It’s a private number.
“Reagon?” –He pronounced my name right, which usually tips me off that it’s someone I know.
It’s a slightly raspy, white (I’m assuming) male voice with a slight country twang. Which is a little odd for these parts, the inflection here is more hispanic than anything else.
“Yes, who is this?”
I don’t remember the exact back and forth. A lot of me insisting that he tells me who this is. And him telling me,
– Are you going to do what I want you to do?
– Are you going to listen to me?
-I’m coming over there, I just got off of work.
More of me getting angered and telling him that I have no idea who he is or what he wants.
He says twice before I hang up, “I will kill. I will kill.”
The phone rings immediately, private number.
This time with more anxiety and less friendly undertones.
“Who is this! Leave me alone!”
Again, “I’ll come over there. I’ll find you with your pretty blonde hair.”
At this point I’m out of bed, semi-panicked. I walk out to the living room, put him on speaker phone and look at my boyfriend like a helpless baby bunny. Fix this.
He takes the phone.
“Who in the fuck is this?” In his most angry scary [black] man voice.
“Who in the fuck is this?”
Silence. The creeper hung up.
Can I get a unanimous what the fuck???
Immediately, after the first creepy words out of his mouth. I ran through all of the assholes that I know that would be telling me these things. Nope, doesn’t sound familiar.
They probably got my information from a childcare add that I posted on craigslist recently for over winter break. It was a nice heaping dose of well, the internet isn’t actually the cuddly place that I want it to be. Real life skeezos trolling the childcare section of Craigslist to stalk mothers for psychotic kicks and giggles with sexual undertones.
***Okay, it has been pointed out to me by my loving wonderful compassionate comforting boyfriend that I deserve a Darwin Award for posting way too much personal information on Craigslist. “List of worst places for stalkers and pervs, 1) Craigslist”. Duly noted.***
Does this picture make you want to rape me? Kill me?
At what point in life do you stop living your life in an honest, out loud way, and hide because well… there are bad people in this world and you should know better?
**In my defense, because instead of being nice about it and acknowledging that it was a really upsetting situation for me J and I have been fighting about how I could be so dumb to post something on Craigslist. Yes, lesson learned, I’ve more than acknowledged that. But, it’s not like I posted an add in the personals section. It was a really straightforward childcare add. Yes I included my phone number, but this also isn’t my first time posting an add like this or one selling furniture that I’ve posted my name and number on and had nothing but legitimate wholesome inquiries. Yes, I was naive. Yes, I had a wake up call about the potential for seriously fucked up shit happening because of Craigslist, but in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY WAS I SOLICITING THIS. It’s like telling girls that they got raped because they wore skanky clothes to a party. Existing in this world as a woman, who has a phone number, a picture and a name does not mean that I was asking to be sought out and harassed and death threatened.*
Other than this being a ridiculous story, that nothing can be done about (yes, I called the police, yes I filed a really vague police report that they can’t actually follow up on), here’s what I have been reflecting on today:
In this morning’s moment of panic, I was so God damned happy to have a man under my same roof and a man eating dog on the couch next to him.
I was even more happy that the voice that came out of his mouth was that of a “scary black man”, I hope he sounded like a “demon”. I hope that your hick ass got all of your I’m scared of black men panties in a bunch and shit your pants.
In reality there is basically nothing scary about J, but that dude didn’t need to know that. Did he? There he is with our killer guard dog:
But, only one of them are nice when someone comes to the door stranger or not. Meena (that beautiful yet crazy lab german shepard mix) will flip all of her shit and nearly eat a 4 year old if we let her. Things like– this morning, that one fun time that my house got broken into and meticulously combed over, or when a drugged out dude staggered towards Ev and I on our front step while rustling for something in his back pack– that I couldn’t be more over joyed to have a scary fucking dog. She’s actually a big baby, I put my hand in her mouth to pet her tounge on a regular basis. But, hear ye, hear ye, dear stranger. There’s a very real possibility that if you pose a real threat that she will sink her teeth into your soul and I like to keep it that way.
So, here’s the flip flop. I think that it’s absolutely ludicrous that a good portion of the white population historically has and still are vilianizing innocent black boys and men based on bullshit sterotypes. If you need to step outside of your caucasian box and read something from the black perspective I recommend this article about being a 6’4” black man in America.
Butttttttttt, there was this one time when (I’m making some assumptions about the jack ass that called me today) I was glad that this particular man scared easy of my black boyfriend.
How do you reconcile this?
Remember that little vignette that I gave earlier about being chased for blocks down a dark street. Well I lost that WHITE guy at a stop light. Turned the other way and ran to my Mom’s house. Completely frantic I told my brother the story (who is one of those gun toting, right wing lunatics). He promptly walked out to his room, loaded his shot gun and walked out side to patrol the house. Is this crazy? Debatable. Was it comforting- yes. If he would have found that guy, and miraculously correctly identified him and shot him, dead or not, would I have been happy? Relieved? Probably not. I don’t believe in guns. I think that they are excessive force. I don’t think that people should have them in their homes. I think that conceal and carry is a highly disturbing policy. I think that this country desperately needs gun control.
But, those two times I felt so much safer knowing that there was something “big and scary” between me and what could be a terrible situation.
So who are we when in a moment of panic. Confrontation. In the midst of really scary shit that we abandon our moral positions. Should I have told that man on the phone this morning that he probably didn’t want to fuck with me because I have a very sweet, articulate, funny boyfriend that wouldn’t be very happy about the things he was saying to me?
Am I part of the problem?
Is that a risk you take when you go out of your way to try and attack or threat to attack a helpless woman (uhhhh this is a whole other internal debate about needing to be protected by a man, maybe I’ll write about that next) that there maybe some very terrible repercussions like her trigger happy little brother and his 12-gauge, or the proverbial black man that could grab you like “Hulk Hogan”.
Can I spend my time worrying about that? I have today.